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salim
08-10-2008, 11:13 PM
To often modern Aikido is not really tested against full resistance. The Shodokan school of Aikido and a few would be Aikidoka attempt to test there Aikido techniques against full resistance. They are usually ridiculed for their attempts and not appreciated for their efforts to prove or disprove a technique. The realities of a fully resisting uke makes the Aikido techniques sometimes unrecognizable, sometimes they simply are too difficult to apply. Maybe some techniques simply just don't work. Some in the Aikido world seem to have a difficult time accepting this reality. The below clip shows the Tomiki Aikido randori (toshu randori). Great to see some real resistance vs demonstration. I would love to hear from those who accept this reality and share your thoughts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mGjDjsCWGY

salim
08-11-2008, 08:29 AM
Leave it to Brazilians to adapt a Japanese martial art to make it effective in a streetfight. That's why it doesn't look like the dance-like flowing of staged aikido demonstrations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVcWscrN2FU

Lyle Bogin
08-11-2008, 08:39 AM
That's not real resistance. It's just excessive recalcitrance.

Dieter Haffner
08-11-2008, 08:53 AM
Great to see some real resistance vs demonstration.Isn't real resistance fighting back. Instead of not trying to be pulled down, pinned, ... ?

Jonathan
08-11-2008, 10:12 AM
While these clips are supposed to be of aikido, they appear to be of people doing judo very badly. It certainly doesn't look like it would be effective in a streetfight. In its own way, the Shodokan stuff in these clips is as "unreal" as the more classical aikido styles are accused of being - only its a lot uglier.

Janet Rosen
08-11-2008, 10:45 AM
To often modern Aikido is not really tested against full resistance.

Salim, while I think I see what you are getting at, I also think there is another way to frame the intent of aikido.
If somebody is actively resisting a particular aikido technique, trying to impose that technique is NOT doing aikido.
If the attacker continually resists, then in essence, the attack itself is continually changing, and the response has to be continually changing, and the result would look like counters and reversals.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-11-2008, 11:02 AM
While these clips are supposed to be of aikido, they appear to be of people doing judo very badly.
But they still are aikido. Bad judo looks different (trust me, I'm an expert in bad judo).
:D

Flintstone
08-11-2008, 11:21 AM
In its own way, the Shodokan stuff in these clips is as "unreal" as the more classical aikido styles are accused of being - only its a lot uglier.
I guess our resident Shodokan guys will not be happy with that... At least they do know they will get cut and/or stabbed!

Not that this is the best Shodokan I've seen either, but the system is to be respected for what it is. Yes, it's ugly. Fighting is not beautiful.

But they still are aikido. Bad judo looks different (trust me, I'm an expert in bad judo).

Sorry Demetrio, you still has to see the one and only real bad judo. I'll send you a clip of me one of these days :D.

Best.

salim
08-11-2008, 11:25 AM
Isn't real resistance fighting back. Instead of not trying to be pulled down, pinned, ... ?

Maybe for you this is what you mean, by fighting back. See below. What I meant by resistance, is a non-cooperating uke. Trust me, I tested this with my 4dan sensei and he had to do similar techniques. I trained in Burmese Bando for 5 years prior to Aikido and learned how to punch and kick pretty good. He almost never could grab my hand exactly. I unleashed several punches to his head, lower stomach area. Most of them landed. I was trying to really make him feel my kicks and punches. He had to grab me, sort of like what you see in the video in order to execute an Aikido technique. Definitely not anything like the demonstrations on the internet. Demonstrations are just that, simply a well thought out demonstration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbS0xHCerw

dalen7
08-11-2008, 02:50 PM
Aikido for all. :D

There are for sure moves that would be excellent to use in a MMA fight. (Maybe MMA will be an olympic sport - that would be entertaining for sure.)

Again, it seems that people get caught up in saying that 'one way' is the only way. (Even the BJJ people get caught up in this illusion)

One way is suitable for whatever circumstance it was created for, and even then it needs adaptation and fluidity. (Some could say this philosophy is what is at the heart of 'Aikido') ;)

Again, Aikido can be to anyone whatever it is they want it to be.
Tai Chi like or used in competition...or both. ;)

(caveat: twisting joints in sports can make it the last time you compete in said sport...but then I suppose getting your brain beaten out in MMA and boxing isnt much different.) :)

Peace

dAlen

p.s. -
Aikido, as it generally is learned, is quite effective.
When it becomes less effective...or rather needs adaptation, is when you have 2 people in a ring with the mind set of going at each other.

So if someone is in a bar and getting rowdy, someone could get a move rather easily - also in situations where it is push and shove and both sides are not really wanting to start hitting right away.

Again, different times, places, means that different techniques could be used and applied.

Aikido, on a darker note, would be an idea 'bully' sport - until someone gets tired of the person pushing them around and punches them in the face. ;)
This is where emphasis in Aikido training would need to be about attitude - and not using it as a means to bully others. ;)

ChrisHein
08-11-2008, 03:19 PM
Always so much confusion about this...

When people are pitting themselves against each other (a fight) there are two factors that cannot be overlooked: desire to win, and ability (technical skill, experience, physicality etc.).

Looking at the “bad Judo” comment. If you see high level Judoka, doing Judo at a highly competitive level, it looks like “bad Judo” (from the outside). Both competitors are very able, and have a true desire to win the match. Neither has the clear advantage in ability, or drive, so it becomes a tussle for grips and small advantages. This keeps the spectacular throws and clean technique down to a minimum.

If you compare this to a Judo newbie doing randori with the sensei you’ll get a different scenario. The newbie maybe full of desire to win the match, but he is no where near the ability level of the teacher, so he will be thrown in spectacular fashion time and again. Even though he has the desire, he lacks the ability. So the teacher even half trying can effortlessly defeat newbie time and again.

Another example would be when two competitors of equal ability match, but one is seriously invested in winning, while the other really doesn’t want to win. Sometimes you see this in competitive martial arts like Judo, but this can more often be seen in a street fight. When one guy wants to win at any cost, and the other just doesn’t want to get hurt. The one with less desire will almost always lose, even if he has more ability then his attacker.

In Aikido the uke never has the desire to “win”. So this makes it easy for nage to throw uke, even if uke is “better” then nage. This is why white belts can toss black belts with such beautiful throws. This is why Aikido always looks the way it does, there is no desire for uke to defeat nage.

The desire to “win” often makes it impossible to use clean, effortless technique. You’ll see during the match that if you just force this, or that a little bit, you could achieve victory. Now a philosophical argument could be made that, if you’d just give up your desire to “win”, you could always have clean effective technique. That is true, but then you’ll have to face the fact that if you ever get into a fight with someone with slightly less ability then you, but much more desire to win, you’ll always lose. When your children's lives are on the line that’s not really an option, you want to win.

mathewjgano
08-11-2008, 03:40 PM
The below clip shows the Tomiki Aikido randori (toshu randori). Great to see some real resistance vs demonstration. I would love to hear from those who accept this reality and share your thoughts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mGjDjsCWGY
You know, I really loved my Tomiki Ryu experience. It was minimal, but highly informative. That it can begin to approach full speed in the higher levels of randori reminded me just how quickly I must get my 170lbs. body into the highly coordinated motion aiki demands.
I remember doing randori with Omonishi sensei and Peter Rehse in Himeji and thinking to myself, "I suck...wait a minute,I suck is an understatement." I was like a kid trying to move a bear. I'm not completely ignorant of aiki (just almost nearly so:D ), but my timing wasn't even close to hitting the mark. I either fell beautifully :rolleyes: ...or felt the tanto touch where blood should've been leaking from. All in all a fun time, really!
As I understand it, the resistance is in the realm of intent. Aite wants to stab you with a floppy knife; tori wants to practice waza. I was still learning how to move with the movements of my partners. The names of things were a little different, the forms were a little different, but the heart of it seemed very much the same as what I learned at Kannagara Dojo. I've got nothing but good things to say about the Himeji Shodokan dojo...and through the representation of the folks there, the Shodokan system in general.

Kevin Leavitt
08-11-2008, 03:57 PM
In this clip, there are some good examples of non-cooperative, ballistic training. It is about as good as it gets and still keeping it safe...hence all the gear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QkJGxPytQI

Anything short of this and you really have too many contraints and rules for safety. It doesn't take guys too long to figure out how to take short cuts and exploit technicalities and the rules.

It is all good as long as we keep in mind the shortcomings that the constraints we impose create.

It is good to get exposure to as many different scenarios and situaitons as possible and figure out how to gain skill.

It is why I am now doing Judo as well as BJJ and Aikido. Each offers their own set of limitations and constraints, but because of them, you can develop some very good technics and skills in particular areas.

Sy Labthavikul
08-11-2008, 04:38 PM
I've seen a few videos of Blauer's SPEAR system at CrossFit.com and found them fairly interesting. He's not trying to teach some self defense style: his entire program is based upon the "flinch" response, what the human body naturally does when it feels itself threatened.

His work basically involved studying where most knife or gunshot wounds were located, and there was a statistically significant number of these wounds located on the hands and arms. He also studied photos of people who were surprised: most people's reactions are to "flinch" : bring up the hands and arms to protect the head and torso. His SPEAR methodology is basically a first response defensive posture where you use the flinch to project out your hands and forearms into a triangle to both block and attack any incoming threat.

Here's a video on youtube, originally from CrossFit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk_Ai8qT2s4

Another:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ID6rnSMPig&feature=related

He calls it a bridge to the more complex gross motor skills (i.e. techniques) of your martial arts style of choice; its for self defense when surprised, not for sparring or any other "competition."

Here Blauer discusses the bridge concept:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--74CtXS6Y4&feature=related

Guess what that looks like? A lot of the preemptive atemi that many adept aikidoka already use. Combine this with moving off the line of attack? Well, I guess thats what I'm going to be spending the rest of my life to try to train into my natural movements.

Also, just for fun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL3WUMNLjAA&NR=1

That last one was added to CrossFit on April 4. :-)

Keith Larman
08-11-2008, 04:57 PM
In this clip, there are some good examples of non-cooperative, ballistic training. It is about as good as it gets and still keeping it safe...hence all the gear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QkJGxPytQI



Actually the Spear system stuff by Blauer is of great interest to me. A LEO friend of mine turned me on to them a while back. I really like the video you can find on youtube where he talks about the flinch response. In our style we have an exercise called shomenuchi ikkyo undo (don't know how many groups do this movement). My sensei have always been adamant that we train constantly to get the hands up immediately at the sign of anything incoming. I've been taught that it needs to be a basic reflex much like these guys teach it as a basic "flinch" response.

Anyway, all good stuff. Which reminds me that I need to revisit this with my students... ;)

EDIT: Well, I'm slower than Sy here in posting, but very nicely he posted all the links to the various vids I was talking about... So now I won't bother looking them up...

mathewjgano
08-11-2008, 05:18 PM
While these clips are supposed to be of aikido, they appear to be of people doing judo very badly. It certainly doesn't look like it would be effective in a streetfight. In its own way, the Shodokan stuff in these clips is as "unreal" as the more classical aikido styles are accused of being - only its a lot uglier.

All formalized interactions are unreal to a certain extent. One of the goals of Shodokan is taking kata and making it work more organically by letting people practice waza and kaeshiwaza more freely. It's much more difficult (I think) to make a specific technique work than to let principle form the technique "spontaneously." And I think that has a lot to do with why it aint so pretty.

salim
08-11-2008, 05:40 PM
All formalized interactions are unreal to a certain extent. One of the goals of Shodokan is taking kata and making it work more organically by letting people practice waza and kaeshiwaza more freely. It's much more difficult (I think) to make a specific technique work than to let principle form the technique "spontaneously." And I think that has a lot to do with why it aint so pretty.

I agree with you totally. Unfortunately most Aikidoka, especially many in the Aikikai organization, think demonstrations are realistic self defense scenarios. They think static movements, flowing movements with grace, is the way Aikido replicates upon every scenario. Not at all the case in a real altercation, not even the case when you are angry with your 4th degree sensei who you try to test.

I tested my sensei once. He had to grab me to restrain the array of punches and kicks that were stinging him. I landed several low kicks that he was not able to stop and punched him pretty hard a couple of times to the face. Once he was in close, then he was able to execute an Aikido technique. My weakness was ground fighting and close proximity at the time. He applied what I think was probably a half Koshinage technique, then applied a choke to restrain me. He choked me pretty hard to make me stop. Really nothing like the thousands of Aikido demonstrations in the videos. I asked, what happen to the the crisp, pretty Aikido techniques. He stated there is Aikido for showing the technique fully and there is Aikido for self defense which sometimes needs to slightly adapt to the situation. I think realism is severely overlooked to often.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-11-2008, 06:14 PM
My sensei have always been adamant that we train constantly to get the hands up immediately at the sign of anything incoming.

so you can get ikkyoed "old school" :)

On a serious note. The Blauer clips show a very interesting work and a good balance between realism and safety.

salim
08-11-2008, 06:26 PM
Kotegaeshi with full resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA0XACGbYck&feature=related

Keith Larman
08-11-2008, 06:44 PM
so you can get ikkyoed "old school" :)



Or you can *not* put your arms up. That way when you're lying on the ground bleeding out of your ears from a hard punch to the head you can confidently say you didn't allow them to put on that old-school ikkyo... :D

Stefan Stenudd
08-11-2008, 07:16 PM
I've seen a few videos of Blauer's SPEAR system at CrossFit.com and found them fairly interesting. He's not trying to teach some self defense style: his entire program is based upon the "flinch" response, what the human body naturally does when it feels itself threatened.
Very interesting, and indeed many parallells to aikido.
There are many martial arts that teach ways of polishing one's reflexes, so that they become efficient first responses when attacked.

If you don't evade too much from instinctual "flinches", you can alter them slightly, so that they become very effective although still as quick - or even quicker after persistent training of them.

I tell my students to start with responses that are likely as quick reflexes, and could be done also when you're surprised. There are some such movements - not that many, but more than the flinch showed in the Spear videos.
What is important is also to practice the taisabaki evasive turn of the body in connection to the arm movements. It can also become a reflex, and it improves the whole thing tremendously.

L. Camejo
08-11-2008, 08:52 PM
To often modern Aikido is not really tested against full resistance. The Shodokan school of Aikido and a few would be Aikidoka attempt to test there Aikido techniques against full resistance. They are usually ridiculed for their attempts and not appreciated for their efforts to prove or disprove a technique. The realities of a fully resisting uke makes the Aikido techniques sometimes unrecognizable, sometimes they simply are too difficult to apply. Maybe some techniques simply just don't work. Some in the Aikido world seem to have a difficult time accepting this reality. The below clip shows the Tomiki Aikido randori (toshu randori). Great to see some real resistance vs demonstration. I would love to hear from those who accept this reality and share your thoughts.
Interesting topic.

Personally I don't think there are many videos online that do justice to good Shodokan randori or shiai for that matter so I've resorted to just showing ppl who appear on my dojo step with questions.:)

These are the clips I tend to refer to, since they are the closest I have found that may relate to the Aikido concept of ending the conflict in an instant - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXCPE9YR5jA and - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvfyvQIJiGo. These were taken during actual tanto shiai matches.

My own belief is that anyone who is stuck on getting better at shiai alone will not fully appreciate what Tomiki was trying to reveal to ppl. Just like ppl stuck only on cooperative methods of practice. The reason is because certain revelations are only gained by experiencing the personal truth of an actual conflict.

From my own personal experience, the system works very well for self defence purposes. This has been repeatedly proven to me. What is seen in most shiai clips are the result of folks who are still fixated on "getting technique to work". The system really comes into its own when your technique works before your partner has even struck (sen). This however requires focused study, even if one is in Shodokan and tests technique regularly. Testing is great but too many end up "fighting" and struggling instead of just doing Aikido. This is why there are guidelines on how to achieve ability without getting into the "fight" mindset. Imho if one is reacting in shiai or in self defence then one is not applying Aikido. The result is the struggling you often see in videos and training.

Once I did a demo which included some resistance randori as seen in tanto shiai. Half of the crowd were shocked at seeing someone who was willing to not get off every technique and not look like a "master" all the time (though some did come off like textbook co-op waza). The other half (mostly Judoka) were happy to actually see Aikido function while knowing that serious resistance was present. As folks who also engage in competitive practice they had a very good idea of how difficult it was to get a "clean" technique when ones partner was fighting back. They also know that it is possible given the right mindset and timing among other things.

Best.
LC

Ketsan
08-11-2008, 09:37 PM
[QUOTE=Salim Shaw;213341]To often modern Aikido is not really tested against full resistance. The Shodokan school of Aikido and a few would be Aikidoka attempt to test there Aikido techniques against full resistance. They are usually ridiculed for their attempts and not appreciated for their efforts to prove or disprove a technique. The realities of a fully resisting uke makes the Aikido techniques sometimes unrecognizable, sometimes they simply are too difficult to apply. Maybe some techniques simply just don't work. Some in the Aikido world seem to have a difficult time accepting this reality. The below clip shows the Tomiki Aikido randori (toshu randori). Great to see some real resistance vs demonstration. I would love to hear from those who accept this reality and share your thoughts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mGjDjsCWGY[/QUOTE ]

I'd be interested to see their basics.

Stefan Stenudd
08-12-2008, 03:19 AM
These are the clips I tend to refer to, since they are the closest I have found that may relate to the Aikido concept of ending the conflict in an instant - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXCPE9YR5jA and - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvfyvQIJiGo. These were taken during actual tanto shiai matches.
Interesting. That comes closer to what I would prefer as practice against resistance. The technique they do, I call kokyuho. A very effective and practical technique. For some reason, there seems to be many dojos where it is hardly regarded as a technique at all, but merely a warm-up thingy.

Iriminage and kokyuho are quite closely related, and can be done swiftly against a resisting opponent - almost regardless of the attack form. Some other aikido techniques are less practical, even unrealistic, against several attack forms.

On my website, I made commented tables of what I regard as practical or impractical (and easy or difficult) applications of the aikido techniques against all the common attack forms:
http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikidobasics.htm
Of course, that's just how I see it :)

Flintstone
08-12-2008, 04:27 AM
Interesting. That comes closer to what I would prefer as practice against resistance. The technique they do, I call kokyuho. A very effective and practical technique. For some reason, there seems to be many dojos where it is hardly regarded as a technique at all, but merely a warm-up thingy.
We call it Ura Mukae Daoshi. Definitely not merely a warm-up for us, but a very contundent technique with not-so-safe obvious variations.

Iriminage and kokyuho are quite closely related, and can be done swiftly against a resisting opponent - almost regardless of the attack form. Some other aikido techniques are less practical, even unrealistic, against several attack forms.
Actually it's my understanding that Yoshinkan guys call it Shokumen Irimi Nage, so this relationship is even more obvious for them. In Yoseikan, Irimi Nage is called Mukae Daoshi, so the relationship also shows up there.

On my website, I made commented tables of what I regard as practical or impractical (and easy or difficult) applications of the aikido techniques against all the common attack forms:
http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikidobasics.htm
Of course, that's just how I see it :)
As informative as always. Great site.

Amir Krause
08-12-2008, 10:37 AM
To often modern Aikido is not really tested against full resistance. The Shodokan school of Aikido and a few would be Aikidoka attempt to test there Aikido techniques against full resistance. They are usually ridiculed for their attempts and not appreciated for their efforts to prove or disprove a technique. The realities of a fully resisting uke makes the Aikido techniques sometimes unrecognizable, sometimes they simply are too difficult to apply. Maybe some techniques simply just don't work. Some in the Aikido world seem to have a difficult time accepting this reality. The below clip shows the Tomiki Aikido randori (toshu randori). Great to see some real resistance vs demonstration. I would love to hear from those who accept this reality and share your thoughts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mGjDjsCWGY

Well, I am not sure I agree with you. At least not completly.
Yet I do plan on responding.
Do note one thing - I do not come from Aikikai, rather from Korindo. And from a teacher who teaches Korindo as well as Karate and Karate (all of which he learned to high level seperatly, and is teaching as seperate Martial Arts). Further, our society is closer to over-fighting rather then spirtual, thus my Sensei normally tries to hold the horses from runing wildly rather then encourage them to increase the pace.

Salim, while I think I see what you are getting at, I also think there is another way to frame the intent of aikido.
If somebody is actively resisting a particular aikido technique, trying to impose that technique is NOT doing aikido.
If the attacker continually resists, then in essence, the attack itself is continually changing, and the response has to be continually changing, and the result would look like counters and reversals.

This is my main problem with resisting. One should realize the essence they are practicing as they work on it. There is a difference between training Kata to training Randori \ Kyoshu to doing a Shihai. As for the latter, one should also be aware if the victory in a Shihai becomes his goal or is it just another step in the road.
In Korindo we have Kata and Randori\Kyoshu, but no Shihai. I have seen the importance of Randori\Kyoshu and some effects of lack of it, with people coming from other Aikido groups. I have also had the pleasure of training with a Tomiki\Shodokan member and did not have any difficulty.


In Aikido the uke never has the desire to “win”. So this makes it easy for nage to throw uke, even if uke is “better” then nage. This is why white belts can toss black belts with such beautiful throws. This is why Aikido always looks the way it does, there is no desire for uke to defeat nage.
I agree with you totally. Unfortunately most Aikidoka, especially many in the Aikikai organization, think demonstrations are realistic self defense scenarios. They think static movements, flowing movements with grace, is the way Aikido replicates upon every scenario. Not at all the case in a real altercation, not even the case when you are angry with your 4th degree sensei who you try to test.


Most Aikido practice we see is Kata and it is pre-scripted as such. Further, Uke role is very diificult in this Kata - he should provide honest attack and responses limited to the Kata script, and at the same time Uke is learning how to "recieve" and be soft and receptive.
"Kata" is a learning tool. As such, it does not have to be realistic. It has to have methodical merit. Some people delude themselves into different beliefs. I doubt how many of them are veterans.


Another example would be when two competitors of equal ability match, but one is seriously invested in winning, while the other really doesn’t want to win. Sometimes you see this in competitive martial arts like Judo, but this can more often be seen in a street fight. When one guy wants to win at any cost, and the other just doesn’t want to get hurt. The one with less desire will almost always lose, even if he has more ability then his attacker.

The desire to “win” often makes it impossible to use clean, effortless technique. You’ll see during the match that if you just force this, or that a little bit, you could achieve victory. Now a philosophical argument could be made that, if you’d just give up your desire to “win”, you could always have clean effective technique. That is true, but then you’ll have to face the fact that if you ever get into a fight with someone with slightly less ability then you, but much more desire to win, you’ll always lose. When your children's lives are on the line that’s not really an option, you want to win.

The last section contradicts itself. If lack of desire will make you lose always, what is the point of a "perfect technique"?

For the best of my understanding, the Japanese believed in "empty mind", "wishing while not" and "being ready to die" instead of strong desire to win, as a way of achieving victory. I think this belief \ concept is fundamental in many JMA.


I tested my sensei once. He had to grab me to restrain the array of punches and kicks that were stinging him. I landed several low kicks that he was not able to stop and punched him pretty hard a couple of times to the face. Once he was in close, then he was able to execute an Aikido technique. My weakness was ground fighting and close proximity at the time. He applied what I think was probably a half Koshinage technique, then applied a choke to restrain me. He choked me pretty hard to make me stop. Really nothing like the thousands of Aikido demonstrations in the videos. I asked, what happen to the the crisp, pretty Aikido techniques. He stated there is Aikido for showing the technique fully and there is Aikido for self defense which sometimes needs to slightly adapt to the situation. I think realism is severely overlooked to often.
At least the way I am taught Korindo Aikido. Grabs are not encouraged at all, and one (at 4th Dan level ) should respond to strikes as well as he responds to grabs. Of course, you might be the superior fighter, but that would have nothing to do with the M.A.

Hope my concept came out from my comments. I am not against some resistance while training. I am pro methodical usage of resistance and co-operation. I like Randori, yet ou form of Randori is virtually resistance less, we strive to never resist, instead we wish to be soft and responsive and use any opening to counter. When one tries to resist with strength, he becomes rigid and loses more then he gained. This is the way to win today, but learn nothing. When we practice Randori, our wish is to evolve and improve via learning, not to win.

Amir

ChrisHein
08-12-2008, 11:34 AM
The last section contradicts itself. If lack of desire will make you lose always, what is the point of a "perfect technique"?

For the best of my understanding, the Japanese believed in "empty mind", "wishing while not" and "being ready to die" instead of strong desire to win, as a way of achieving victory. I think this belief \ concept is fundamental in many JMA.

Amir

Perfect technique is a goal unto itself, it has no attachment to winning. From the later samurai works like Hagakure, I'm sure that you are correct, the samurai would say that perfection of self is victory. However This may mean you will lose the fight.

As I said it's a philosophical debate; you can have perfect clean technique, but if you face someone who approximates your ability, who will sacrifice perfect, clean technique to achive victory, you will most likely lose the conflict. This would mean if you're fighting for something you value beyond your own existence that will be lost as well (your family, a gold metal, respect, etc.).

Now in training, this philosophy is a great one. It doesn't really matter if you win or lose your little dojo randori, nothing is on the line. You should be willing to sacrifice a small victory in order to achieve prefect technique.

The problem with Kata is that you never face the pressure you will face against resistance. Thus you will never acclimate yourself to using your technique under pressure. If you can do ikkyo a million times perfectly in kata, that has very little bearing on how you will do it once under pressure, in an ever changing situation.

Aikibu
08-12-2008, 12:26 PM
The problem with Kata is that you never face the pressure you will face against resistance. Thus you will never acclimate yourself to using your technique under pressure. If you can do ikkyo a million times perfectly in kata, that has very little bearing on how you will do it once under pressure, in an ever changing situation.

You make some great points in your last post Chris but I respectfully disagree with this statement...If one does Kata with diligence and focus the results will be that you will prevail in 95% of any encounter. At least that is my experience....
I will be honest here.Because of some current life events I am a Martial Arts Hobbiest not a Martial Artist.I hope to get back to practice every day a few hours a day but at most I do only an hour or two. This is what separates the Hobbiest from the Artist. The time I spend practicing by myself. The time I spend doing Kata and Solo training. That is true with any Martial Practice. If you only "do it in the Dojo" well then at best you're a rank amateur with dangerous mindset in the context of this discussion. I harp on my fellow Aikidoka all the time not to expect to be any good at Aikido if all they do is come to the Dojo a few times a week. Kata and Solo training are essential foundations to good practice and your Martial Effectiveness.

I have stayed out of this discussion until now because I have not seen anything yet that qualifies as "full resistance" in my mind. I have seen folks doing bad Judo some grappling and battling the mad hand of ikkyo and nikkyo. LOL

Where's the Atemi and Foot Sweeps? Again it's just my opinion if someone grabs you and locks you up you better find something to hit otherwise you're just dancing. Unless of course It is JUDO I am watching and not Aikido. :)

William Hazen

jennifer paige smith
08-12-2008, 05:15 PM
To often modern Aikido is not really tested against full resistance. ]

Respectfully,
"Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning."- My Boss

Our task is to train until we understand why.

Best,
Jen

salim
08-12-2008, 05:16 PM
Where's the Atemi and Foot Sweeps? Again it's just my opinion if someone grabs you and locks you up you better find something to hit otherwise you're just dancing. Unless of course It is JUDO I am watching and not Aikido. :)

William Hazen[/QUOTE]

Doing atemi or tasabaki for the sake of just doing it and catching a punch to the face, just doesn't make sense. You perform those moves when it is warranted. If you can't calculate a technique with some accuracy, then why do it in this situation. The videos are not demonstrations. Demonstrations you can plan for atemi or tasabaki, to accomplish those pretty dance flows in Aikido.

ChrisHein
08-12-2008, 06:29 PM
YIf one does Kata with diligence and focus the results will be that you will prevail in 95% of any encounter. At least that is my experience....

William Hazen

Our experiences are different.

Aikibu
08-12-2008, 07:50 PM
Doing atemi or tasabaki for the sake of just doing it and catching a punch to the face, just doesn't make sense. You perform those moves when it is warranted. If you can't calculate a technique with some accuracy, then why do it in this situation. The videos are not demonstrations. Demonstrations you can plan for atemi or tasabaki, to accomplish those pretty dance flows in Aikido.

I must be confused then and my "calculations" must be off.

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
08-12-2008, 10:45 PM
Keith Larman wrote:

Actually the Spear system stuff by Blauer is of great interest to me. A LEO friend of mine turned me on to them a while back. I really like the video you can find on youtube where he talks about the flinch response. In our style we have an exercise called shomenuchi ikkyo undo (don't know how many groups do this movement). My sensei have always been adamant that we train constantly to get the hands up immediately at the sign of anything incoming. I've been taught that it needs to be a basic reflex much like these guys teach it as a basic "flinch" response.

I think Blauer is dead on. I have not been formally trained by Blauer Co, but have used his equipment and methodology. I use his startle/flinch concept as the basis for what I teach. Actually I find it works very well incoroporated in aikido waza. Essentially a good kamae and hamni posture.

Stefan Stenudd
08-13-2008, 04:43 AM
I have my doubts about resistance. That's mainly a competition thing, like in judo: not wanting to be thrown. The attacker attitude is not 'not being beaten', but to beat up the other guy. So, attackers tend to be very aggressively offensive, not defensive at all.
An aikido that aims for "realism" should base its solutions on that.

Thinking of this thread, and the atemi one, I made a short film yesterday after class, trying some atemi applications and a couple of aikido techniques in a way that I regard as "realistic".
No doubt, that will be questioned :)

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

Flintstone
08-13-2008, 05:58 AM
Thinking of this thread, and the atemi one, I made a short film yesterday after class, trying some atemi applications and a couple of aikido techniques in a way that I regard as "realistic".
No doubt, that will be questioned :)
Good video, Stefan. Thank you for sharing! :triangle:

Demetrio Cereijo
08-13-2008, 06:49 AM
Or you can *not* put your arms up. That way when you're lying on the ground bleeding out of your ears from a hard punch to the head you can confidently say you didn't allow them to put on that old-school ikkyo... :D

To raise, or not to raise: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them... :)

If one does Kata with diligence and focus the results will be that you will prevail in 95% of any encounter. At least that is my experience....

Mine is different.

The attacker attitude is not 'not being beaten', but to beat up the other guy. So, attackers tend to be very aggressively offensive, not defensive at all.
An aikido that aims for "realism" should base its solutions on that.
I mostly agree but attackers also doesn't want to be beaten in the process, so they can switch from offensive to defensive mode. A fight/sd situation is a very complex thing, both physical and psichological.

I made a short film yesterday after class, trying some atemi applications and a couple of aikido techniques in a way that I regard as "realistic".
No doubt, that will be questioned :)

Liked the video, even if I haven't found it very realistic, especially uke's reaction to strikes.

Amir Krause
08-13-2008, 07:18 AM
Perfect technique is a goal unto itself, it has no attachment to winning. From the later samurai works like Hagakure, I'm sure that you are correct, the samurai would say that perfection of self is victory. However This may mean you will lose the fight.

As I said it's a philosophical debate; you can have perfect clean technique, but if you face someone who approximates your ability, who will sacrifice perfect, clean technique to achive victory, you will most likely lose the conflict. This would mean if you're fighting for something you value beyond your own existence that will be lost as well (your family, a gold metal, respect, etc.).

Now in training, this philosophy is a great one. It doesn't really matter if you win or lose your little dojo randori, nothing is on the line. You should be willing to sacrifice a small victory in order to achieve prefect technique.

The problem with Kata is that you never face the pressure you will face against resistance. Thus you will never acclimate yourself to using your technique under pressure. If you can do ikkyo a million times perfectly in kata, that has very little bearing on how you will do it once under pressure, in an ever changing situation.

Chris

Mostly, I agree with you.

However, to the best of my understanding, a clean technique is not (and also was not in the past) a goal by itself rather a means to an end, just like winning a practice Randori is not a goal. As your techniques become better, they become more practical, and you can use them in a wider range of technical situations. And much more important, if you practice correctly, as your techniques would be better, so would be your tai-sabaki, your timing and your ability to realize situations, identify options and take advantage.

I did not propose to place technique as your goal when you fight, but practice is not fighting. I do propose to strive towards fighting in almost thoughtless state - thinking on strategy as the mind and body resolve the technical situation without conscious thought. To my understanding, this way was proposed by those who won fights, as a way of further improving their ability. I do not claim I am capable of acting this way, just to strive there. If I were in a fight, I would fight with all my being, including my Korindo Aikido knowledge, but not limited to it.
The way I am taught teaches us, that Randori/Kyoshu/"free play" is not a fight it is another means of learning, just like Kata is. Each of those has goals, advantages and limitations. In Kata practice we can focus on the technique, we can learn the opportunity for a specific response, but our learning is limited, and we learn a certain logic of responses. In Randori we learn to adapt, to identify intentions, to move between techniques, as the level rises in Randori we also learn to counter, and to close our openings.
For some reason, it seems to me like most of you here talk of resistance but focus on "resistance by force", using superior force to prevent Tori from achieving his current technique. This type of resstance is not acceptable in my Dojo. We assume the other person is always stronger.
At my current level, if my teacher catches me acting this way, he would stop the Randori and berate me in front of the all group. Thus, I should not force a technique against resistance, I would switch to a new technique adequate to the new situation. And I should not resist a technique, I should receive it, and create an opening and utilize the opening to escape and counter (with any technique, strike or kick or throw …). True, to succeed in either I must be the technical superior (or have my Sempai training partner allow me to succeed – he too should know we learn and not fight).
It took me years to understand the above concept logically. And I admit, at times I too "forget" all about it in Randori practice and let my Ego rise, and then my Sensei berates me for "hunting techniques" or resisting in a foolish manner. In our dojo, over time, I keep training Randori with lots of beginners who have yet to realize this, and so they fight to win in Randori rather then train to learn. So I often train against a person fighting, one should do it once in a while, to remember how others fight, but if you over do it, your Aikido will not progress.

One last comment. All the above is from the perspective of an Amateur, far from being a martial artist, and lately, hardly practicing once a week (for a while). I do not have any illusions about my ability in a fight – I would do as I can, and just hope it is enough.

Amir

salim
08-13-2008, 07:27 AM
I have my doubts about resistance. That's mainly a competition thing, like in judo: not wanting to be thrown. The attacker attitude is not 'not being beaten', but to beat up the other guy. So, attackers tend to be very aggressively offensive, not defensive at all.
An aikido that aims for "realism" should base its solutions on that.

Thinking of this thread, and the atemi one, I made a short film yesterday after class, trying some atemi applications and a couple of aikido techniques in a way that I regard as "realistic".
No doubt, that will be questioned :)

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

Wow, impressive video. Probably one of the best atemi videos on youtube, that I have seen. Keep up the good work. I still think a resisting uke provides a level of realism for testing a technique. I mean the uke should not cooperate when you apply a technique.

salim
08-13-2008, 07:44 AM
Chris

Mostly, I agree with you.

However, to the best of my understanding, a clean technique is not (and also was not in the past) a goal by itself rather a means to an end, just like winning a practice Randori is not a goal. As your techniques become better, they become more practical, and you can use them in a wider range of technical situations. And much more important, if you practice correctly, as your techniques would be better, so would be your tai-sabaki, your timing and your ability to realize situations, identify options and take advantage.

I did not propose to place technique as your goal when you fight, but practice is not fighting. I do propose to strive towards fighting in almost thoughtless state - thinking on strategy as the mind and body resolve the technical situation without conscious thought. To my understanding, this way was proposed by those who won fights, as a way of further improving their ability. I do not claim I am capable of acting this way, just to strive there. If I were in a fight, I would fight with all my being, including my Korindo Aikido knowledge, but not limited to it.
The way I am taught teaches us, that Randori/Kyoshu/"free play" is not a fight it is another means of learning, just like Kata is. Each of those has goals, advantages and limitations. In Kata practice we can focus on the technique, we can learn the opportunity for a specific response, but our learning is limited, and we learn a certain logic of responses. In Randori we learn to adapt, to identify intentions, to move between techniques, as the level rises in Randori we also learn to counter, and to close our openings.
For some reason, it seems to me like most of you here talk of resistance but focus on "resistance by force", using superior force to prevent Tori from achieving his current technique. This type of resstance is not acceptable in my Dojo. We assume the other person is always stronger.
At my current level, if my teacher catches me acting this way, he would stop the Randori and berate me in front of the all group. Thus, I should not force a technique against resistance, I would switch to a new technique adequate to the new situation. And I should not resist a technique, I should receive it, and create an opening and utilize the opening to escape and counter (with any technique, strike or kick or throw …). True, to succeed in either I must be the technical superior (or have my Sempai training partner allow me to succeed – he too should know we learn and not fight).
It took me years to understand the above concept logically. And I admit, at times I too "forget" all about it in Randori practice and let my Ego rise, and then my Sensei berates me for "hunting techniques" or resisting in a foolish manner. In our dojo, over time, I keep training Randori with lots of beginners who have yet to realize this, and so they fight to win in Randori rather then train to learn. So I often train against a person fighting, one should do it once in a while, to remember how others fight, but if you over do it, your Aikido will not progress.

One last comment. All the above is from the perspective of an Amateur, far from being a martial artist, and lately, hardly practicing once a week (for a while). I do not have any illusions about my ability in a fight – I would do as I can, and just hope it is enough.

Amir

Mere rhetoric patterns, but not reality. Maybe it's the other way around. Really hard to judge abilities typing a few words of enjoyment, to tickle your fancy. Flabby simple mentality can be a waste of time.

salim
08-13-2008, 08:02 AM
Chris

Mostly, I agree with you.

However, to the best of my understanding, a clean technique is not (and also was not in the past) a goal by itself rather a means to an end, just like winning a practice Randori is not a goal. As your techniques become better, they become more practical, and you can use them in a wider range of technical situations. And much more important, if you practice correctly, as your techniques would be better, so would be your tai-sabaki, your timing and your ability to realize situations, identify options and take advantage.

I did not propose to place technique as your goal when you fight, but practice is not fighting. I do propose to strive towards fighting in almost thoughtless state - thinking on strategy as the mind and body resolve the technical situation without conscious thought. To my understanding, this way was proposed by those who won fights, as a way of further improving their ability. I do not claim I am capable of acting this way, just to strive there. If I were in a fight, I would fight with all my being, including my Korindo Aikido knowledge, but not limited to it.
The way I am taught teaches us, that Randori/Kyoshu/"free play" is not a fight it is another means of learning, just like Kata is. Each of those has goals, advantages and limitations. In Kata practice we can focus on the technique, we can learn the opportunity for a specific response, but our learning is limited, and we learn a certain logic of responses. In Randori we learn to adapt, to identify intentions, to move between techniques, as the level rises in Randori we also learn to counter, and to close our openings.
For some reason, it seems to me like most of you here talk of resistance but focus on "resistance by force", using superior force to prevent Tori from achieving his current technique. This type of resstance is not acceptable in my Dojo. We assume the other person is always stronger.
At my current level, if my teacher catches me acting this way, he would stop the Randori and berate me in front of the all group. Thus, I should not force a technique against resistance, I would switch to a new technique adequate to the new situation. And I should not resist a technique, I should receive it, and create an opening and utilize the opening to escape and counter (with any technique, strike or kick or throw …). True, to succeed in either I must be the technical superior (or have my Sempai training partner allow me to succeed -- he too should know we learn and not fight).
It took me years to understand the above concept logically. And I admit, at times I too "forget" all about it in Randori practice and let my Ego rise, and then my Sensei berates me for "hunting techniques" or resisting in a foolish manner. In our dojo, over time, I keep training Randori with lots of beginners who have yet to realize this, and so they fight to win in Randori rather then train to learn. So I often train against a person fighting, one should do it once in a while, to remember how others fight, but if you over do it, your Aikido will not progress.

One last comment. All the above is from the perspective of an Amateur, far from being a martial artist, and lately, hardly practicing once a week (for a while). I do not have any illusions about my ability in a fight -- I would do as I can, and just hope it is enough.

Amir

Mere rhetoric patterns, but not reality. Maybe it's the other way around. Really hard to judge abilities typing a few words of enjoyment, to tickle your fancy.

Stefan Stenudd
08-13-2008, 10:25 AM
I mostly agree but attackers also doesn't want to be beaten in the process, so they can switch from offensive to defensive mode.
I agree. This needs to be trained. My statement was in reference to an excessive defensive mode, so to speak.

Stefan Stenudd
08-13-2008, 10:30 AM
I still think a resisting uke provides a level of realism for testing a technique. I mean the uke should not cooperate when you apply a technique.
That is difficult to show in a video. Real resistance sometimes results in really "rude" solutions ;)
It's not that the techniques change significantly (except for speed and force, maybe), but in practice it can lead to unacceptable risks. I'll try some more videos, and we'll see if I get closer to capturing what I mean.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-13-2008, 10:56 AM
It's not that the techniques change significantly (except for speed and force, maybe), but in practice it can lead to unacceptable risks.

If the shodothugs can do it, everybody can. :)

BTW, what are "unnaceptable risks" for you?, for instance, in the clips you can see in this worth reading article (http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/thegrindstone/2005_11.html) written by forum member D. Valadez show a (for me) safe training environment even if there is spontaneity and opposition.

Do your think Valadez and his deshi are taking unnaceptable risks?

Aikibu
08-13-2008, 11:03 AM
I have my doubts about resistance. That's mainly a competition thing, like in judo: not wanting to be thrown. The attacker attitude is not 'not being beaten', but to beat up the other guy. So, attackers tend to be very aggressively offensive, not defensive at all.
An aikido that aims for "realism" should base its solutions on that.

Thinking of this thread, and the atemi one, I made a short film yesterday after class, trying some atemi applications and a couple of aikido techniques in a way that I regard as "realistic".
No doubt, that will be questioned :)

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

Thanks for the video Stefan .It reinforces my point. If one wants to practice using Aikido with "full resistance" Atemi must be considered otherwise you have bad Judo. LOL

On a side note it's curious to read that people have lost almost all their encounters because of Kata. :)

William Hazen

Demetrio Cereijo
08-13-2008, 11:21 AM
On a side note it's curious to read that people have lost almost all their encounters because of Kata. :)

Let me rephrase, please, for better understanding

I had success in the 95% of my physical encounters thanks to kata training, in the remaining 5% (those where s**t was really hitting the fan) I put the blame of my success in sport like training.

I hate to sound like a though guy, but I've never lost a street fight when my life was in real danger, and I've been in a pair of these.

Of course your mileage may vary. This is a big word and, if we want, there's place for everybody.

Stefan Stenudd
08-13-2008, 11:30 AM
BTW, what are "unnaceptable risks" for you?, for instance, in the clips you can see in this worth reading article (http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/thegrindstone/2005_11.html) written by forum member D. Valadez show a (for me) safe training environment even if there is spontaneity and opposition.
Do your think Valadez and his deshi are taking unnaceptable risks?
Well, they have gloves ;)

I had a quick glance at the videos, which start getting interesting by #3 and #4. In #3, the one on top is using empi, the elbow strike, on the head and neck area of his opponent. I can't speak for those guys, but I could not allow myself to do that in keiko, at least not with "realistic" speed and force. To me, that would be an unacceptable risk.
That doesn't mean I don't know how to do it. It is because I know how to do it that I take special care in keiko. I think that most or all of us do.

On my video I mentioned before, I do some empi, but I stop before actually hitting. I believe that it's clear on the videos what would happen if I did not.
On that video I also show some maegeri, but again with reduced speed and power, for safety reasons. The first kick on the video was a surprise to my attacker, so his reaction was quite "realistic". I kept it in for that reason, and for the humor of it :)
Again, I know how to kick with more power than that. You learn it, even when you hold back at normal keiko.

A friend of mine, who was an excellent karateka, did slow-motion on most of his classes. Even jodan mawashigeri (roundhouse kick to the head) and such, which is not easy in slow-motion. That way, he and his students learned to do the same techniques very fast. Very fast, indeed.
The way to "realistic" budo is not always what meets the eye, so to speak.

Stefan Stenudd
08-13-2008, 11:34 AM
If one wants to practice using Aikido with "full resistance" Atemi must be considered otherwise you have bad Judo. LOL
For two reasons, atemi should be considered:
1 ) Atemi are often part of how to ensure the success of a technique.
2) If uke is confident that tori will make no strikes or kicks, uke's behavior is not "realistic" at all.

jennifer paige smith
08-13-2008, 12:12 PM
Respectfully,
"Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning."- My Boss

Our task is to train until we understand why.

Best,
Jen

Worth repeating, if I do say so myself. Unless this is at least in the background of your thinking you will disscet yourself to pieces,never reaching an understanding or wholeness. Just one fragment of argument
after another. So seek to problem solve, but keep the founders words in mind.
Onegaishinmasu.

Jonathan
08-13-2008, 12:57 PM
For two reasons, atemi should be considered:

1 ) Atemi are often part of how to ensure the success of a technique.
2) If uke is confident that tori will make no strikes or kicks, uke's behavior is not "realistic" at all.


Amen to that! The attacker in the Shodokan knife competition clips, for instance, would be approaching the defender rather differently if he knew he could be struck in the groin or face. I've seen this effect in randori often. When the attacker knows a technique may be accompanied by a blow or two, he/she doesn't approach nage with the same confidence and recklessness that you see typically in randori where strikes by the defender are prohibited.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-13-2008, 01:55 PM
I can't speak for those guys, but I could not allow myself to do that in keiko, at least not with "realistic" speed and force. To me, that would be an unacceptable risk.
Thanks for the answer.
Amen to that! The attacker in the Shodokan knife competition clips, for instance, would be approaching the defender rather differently if he knew he could be struck in the groin or face.
Of course.
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/gedan.gifhttp://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/gyaku.gifhttp://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/aigamae.gifhttp://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/shomen.gif

L. Camejo
08-13-2008, 07:07 PM
Amen to that! The attacker in the Shodokan knife competition clips, for instance, would be approaching the defender rather differently if he knew he could be struck in the groin or face. I've seen this effect in randori often. When the attacker knows a technique may be accompanied by a blow or two, he/she doesn't approach nage with the same confidence and recklessness that you see typically in randori where strikes by the defender are prohibited.I think this post demonstrates the general level of ignorance that exists in this thread regarding Shodokan training practices. :) It is interesting how many ppl cannot differentiate between a fight, a competition, a practice fight and a training drill. But then again, how many here have actually had to deal with serious personal violence while unarmed? It is interesting how many comment on things they may know nothing about. :)

In Shodokan training "resistance" has a lot more to do than "not being thrown" or "muscling out of technique" in fact this is not at all encouraged. It is a process of utilizing the opponent's waza to enter into your own kaeshiwaza ("resistance" by matching your opponent's movement) or instantly negate his power so that he cannot effect kuzushi ("resistance" via structural realignment and grounding of balance) and by extension execute successful waza. Like I said, there are no online clips with explanations of this so I won't bother trying to explain it.

What one sees in shiai is such a small portion of the practice. In fact, much of what we do is very similar to how Amir described their own training methodology. Part of the problem is what people associate with the words "resistance" and "competition". We resist by matching our partner's energy and motion and then redirecting that motion when he least expects it (during kake) or we instantly negate his waza on contact, leaving him open for a counter. It never looks "pretty" on video because in shiai both members are skilled at preventing the other from succeeding. But then I guess "pretty" is the only thing of substance in many ppl's Aikido.
"Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning."- My Boss

Our task is to train until we understand why.In a very real sense, this defines how we utilize "resistance". As soon as you "resist" in a manner that takes you out of coordination with your partner/uke/attacker you are no longer doing Aikido. This applies to us more so since the opportunities to get out of sync are increased when the other person is using his free will to be non-compliant. It challenges one to develop a higher level of ki musubi so that aiki can manifest even if the partner is planning on shutting you down and countering. At a different level one is able to manifest waza that removes the attacker's choice to resist since they literally never see the waza coming.
The attacker attitude is not 'not being beaten', but to beat up the other guy. So, attackers tend to be very aggressively offensive, not defensive at all.Stefan: I saw the video, it looked good. But I don't see how an Uke who stands as a strike dummy can in any way simulate "realism". Had the Uke reacted with a flinch response to your initial movement and you utilised that response to execute waza, yeah that would make sense. To add to your quote above "The attacker's attitude is not "standing like a strike dummy" either. However if one wanted to practice strikes against a static object (which is as far from a realistici human response to violence as you'll get) then I say your video shows a lot of good stuff.

Sorry for the rant guys, but I guess I am full of having ppl strike thin air or a static heavy bag or a partner who is not reacting like a person would when hit/turned/twisted or pushed and then telling me that is "realistic". We need to remember that sometimes ppl's lives may actually depend on what we teach.

My apologies, it's been a long day.:)

LC

jennifer paige smith
08-13-2008, 08:58 PM
Aa far as I'm concerned, no apology is needed. And Sorry for your long day.

ironically, I have probably faced violence in 'real ife' situations more than anyone I know.And definitely more than most aikidoka I have met or trained. I have also been successful in using physical aikido techniques to stop assaults. I have used Ki methods to pre-emptively change a person/s direction/intention on 'the street', and I have been able to surmise violence in a situation that was likely lethal and intervene without that person knowing at al what happened. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Having said this, I am completely aware that what most people think of as 'resistance' is simply another way to assert their ego in a controlled game and that they that play that game well beyond bedtime, when they should put it to rest. And I am also aware that many people never even have a feel for the absolute effectivenes of flow (i.e.non-resistance) in keeping the peace because they are stuck in the low mind of 'struggle to learn to struggle better'. There is definitely a place for muscular non-compliance in training, in fact, it is indispensible if you've never had to use your muscles to get a job done effectively. But we live in a world saturated with this model and ample examples of how it is 'not working'. As well as opportunities to refine our responses for survival.

Training with the founders words in mind brings your mind to a higher level where new possibilities arise freely.Peace possibilities. Many make a false dichotomy out of this as a juxtoposition to 'real training' or point to a outlying extreme example to negate it. Fact is, because I've lived through it to tell you, there is power in the unseen in the unknown land of aligning as a habit. Most people give up and insist the world is flat.

So I continue to say listen to O'Sensei. Rig your ship like you know you should then set your sights on the water in the distance and leave this safe harbor; at least for a change of scenery.

No apologies for my rant. It is a long time coming. And listen to Larry because he says, in different terms, another degree of what I'm saying . In case you don't get me.

Jonathan
08-13-2008, 10:17 PM
I think this post demonstrates the general level of ignorance that exists in this thread regarding Shodokan training practices. It is interesting how many ppl cannot differentiate between a fight, a competition, a practice fight and a training drill.

I'm a little confused: On what basis, exactly, do you infer from my comment that I am unable to differentiate such things from one another? In fact, I can. I believe I refer to the knife competition as such. I don't call it a "fight," or a "drill," or a "practice fight."

But then again, how many here have actually had to deal with serious personal violence while unarmed?

What does this have to do with being able to distinguish a competition from an actual fight?

It is interesting how many comment on things they may know nothing about.

With regards to what I may or may not understand about Aikido and what an actual fight is like, it seems you should include yourself in this statement.:)

In Shodokan training "resistance" has a lot more to do than "not being thrown" or "muscling out of technique" in fact this is not at all encouraged. It is a process of utilizing the opponent's waza to enter into your own kaeshiwaza ("resistance" by matching your opponent's movement) or instantly negate his power so that he cannot effect kuzushi ("resistance" via structural realignment and grounding of balance) and by extension execute successful waza. Like I said, there are no online clips with explanations of this so I won't bother trying to explain it.

Well, you actually just did - sort of.;) Look, I understand quite well what you're talking about here. We do similar principle-based training regularly.

We need to remember that sometimes ppl's lives may actually depend on what we teach.

Which is why I have some qualms about the whole competition thing. I saw a couple of tae kwon do guys who were so competition-oriented that they had little idea how to use their skills outside of point scoring. What they had been taught revolved around competition so much that they were totally useless in an actual fight. I can't help but wonder to what degree (if at all) this excessive competition focus occurs in Shodokan Aikido. And if it does occur, how clearly do the students recognize that their competition shiai is very different from actual fighting.

Amir Krause
08-14-2008, 02:15 AM
If the shodothugs can do it, everybody can. :)

BTW, what are "unnaceptable risks" for you?, for instance, in the clips you can see in this worth reading article (http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/thegrindstone/2005_11.html) written by forum member D. Valadez show a (for me) safe training environment even if there is spontaneity and opposition.

Do your think Valadez and his deshi are taking unnaceptable risks?

Thanks for the article, I enjoyed reading.

Amir

Amir Krause
08-14-2008, 03:34 AM
What one sees in shiai is such a small portion of the practice. In fact, much of what we do is very similar to how Amir described their own training methodology. Part of the problem is what people associate with the words "resistance" and "competition". We resist by matching our partner's energy and motion and then redirecting that motion when he least expects it (during kake) or we instantly negate his waza on contact, leaving him open for a counter. It never looks "pretty" on video because in shiai both members are skilled at preventing the other from succeeding. But then I guess "pretty" is the only thing of substance in many ppl's Aikido.

In a very real sense, this defines how we utilize "resistance". As soon as you "resist" in a manner that takes you out of coordination with your partner/uke/attacker you are no longer doing Aikido. This applies to us more so since the opportunities to get out of sync are increased when the other person is using his free will to be non-compliant. It challenges one to develop a higher level of ki musubi so that aiki can manifest even if the partner is planning on shutting you down and countering. At a different level one is able to manifest waza that removes the attacker's choice to resist since they literally never see the waza coming.
...
LC

So far, I had one opportunity to play Randori with a Tomiki \ Shodokan person: a friend from the net who learned in Japan and came home to Israel for a visit and came to our Dojo for a lesson upon my invitation. At the time he had a Shodan or NiDan, I am more veteran then he and we both have about the same level of strength and size.

Since he was in our class, obviously the "rules" were supposed to be closer to the rules in our practice then to the ones he was used to. Meaning:
- Each of the two participants attacks on his own preference.
- All attack forms are allowed: punching (similar to Krate style – long fist, counter side fist or short fist), kicking or striking (Shomen Uchi \ Yokomen Uchi), grab and strike, and leg take downs.
- Fixed speed, preferably slower then both participants medium ability
- Resistance as I tried to explain above: Muscling out is strongly discouraged, countering is allowed based on participants level (no point in a Yundasha frustrating a noob).
- No forcing of technique by additional force (obviously this is a matter of measure).
- Uke should acknowledge a good technique and fall (the definition of a good technique depends on Tori level, if Uke is more experienced. If Tori is more experienced, Uke should actually fall to protect himself).
- No scoring, no winning, and no lose or loser.

We could play together, and unlike some(not all) Aikikai guys I trained with (Yundasha too) who practically lost it in our Randori, he definitely held his own nicely (We had people of his rank and experience who were better and others who fair worse). But, unlike our rules, I found he did try to muscle out, and to triple speed as a means of leaving a technique. We normally do not do that, and instead try to practice slowly to keep it safe (see later comment).
I also found out a difference to preferred technique variations. Ours are often were more dangerous to practice, while he used the version we teach beginners to keep them safe when they muscle (on the other hand, they rarely make us fall when veterans play Randori). Later he indicated he was acquainted with the variations we use, but they would lose him a point in Shihai…

Hope I had more then one person to play with and base my experience on. I do know such a single experiment is not sufficient for a real comparison.

Amir

L. Camejo
08-14-2008, 05:43 AM
Amir: Some good points, which go back to my original statement on folks who may get fixated on shiai-based training. No system is perfect and competition can be useful if one understands the context, but destructive if it limits or defines ones practice. Sadly the "muscle out" response is way too common and can really hurt ones development, though I've experienced it in every Aikido style I've encountered that does any sort of randori with a kaeshiwaza element. Another bad thing about the muscle response is that it provides ones partner a good opportunity for kaeshiwaza. On the flip side however, if one is able to muscle out of our waza, how does that help us improve?

Regarding the "beginner techniques" most of what is allowed in shiai are kihon waza that are designed to be safe if one encounters abnormal and severe resistance in shiai. Thing is though, the simple basics are what helps one survive in actual conflict as well, many of the "advanced" techniques take very advanced skill to function properly when ones partner does not plan on cooperating. So again, if one is shiai-focused, development of "other" ways of executing waza may not be developed. Again, I have trained with folks in other Aikido methods (2nd Dan and above) who had to resort to the same "beginner techniques" when doing medium resistance randori in our dojo as the more complex movements simply left too many opportunities for kaeshiwaza.

Jennifer: You said exactly what I was talking about in a better way I think. Well done.:)

Best to all.
LC

Amir Krause
08-14-2008, 06:49 AM
Amir: Some good points, which go back to my original statement on folks who may get fixated on shiai-based training. No system is perfect and competition can be useful if one understands the context, but destructive if it limits or defines ones practice. Sadly the "muscle out" response is way too common and can really hurt ones development, though I've experienced it in every Aikido style I've encountered that does any sort of randori with a kaeshiwaza element. Another bad thing about the muscle response is that it provides ones partner a good opportunity for kaeshiwaza. On the flip side however, if one is able to muscle out of our waza, how does that help us improve?


Agreed.

As for doing a technique against muscular resistence. My Sensei solution is to practice it speficicly in Kata form with Tori going full speed or slow. The level and ways of resistence are measured relating to the Tori level and Uke capabilities.
Sensei (and us vetrans) suprvises both Tori and Uke in such training. Uke might resist in ways that negate the desired technique but make another more then inviting, in some cases I had to explain this to Uke in a very phisical way, so he will resist witout creating an entirely differnt opennning.
We do not train this way all time, only occusaionaly, we found out resisting too often ruins the overall technical abillity.


Regarding the "beginner techniques" most of what is allowed in shiai are kihon waza that are designed to be safe if one encounters abnormal and severe resistance in shiai. Thing is though, the simple basics are what helps one survive in actual conflict as well, many of the "advanced" techniques take very advanced skill to function properly when ones partner does not plan on cooperating. So again, if one is shiai-focused, development of "other" ways of executing waza may not be developed. Again, I have trained with folks in other Aikido methods (2nd Dan and above) who had to resort to the same "beginner techniques" when doing medium resistance randori in our dojo as the more complex movements simply left too many opportunities for kaeshiwaza.


Again, I agree with your comment on the "sophisticated techniques" compared to basic ones. However, I think we do not refer to the same things here. I talk about the safety of Uke if Tori performs the technique with full force and is not sensitive.

That day we worked on Shiho-Nage, our common variation of doing it uses a different angle compared to the variation often seen elsewhere. It keeps Uke elbow inline with Tori head and not above Uke shoulder (difficult to explain - I know ), we also push Uke arm to be more forward and farther from his shoulder compared to other places I have seen. This way more then triples the tork on Uke Elbow\Shoulder (wherever the tendons are weaker), further, once thepin is achieved, falling from this variation requires a very high jump (above own shoulder hight), I for one am not able to do, so normally Tori fells Uke as well as peroforming the pin.
We do not teach this way to beginners since they tend to use too much force and would likely dislocate Uke shoulder when doing this technique.

During the Randori, I fealt similar variations from him about a couple of additional techniques. So I asked my friend afterwards. His respnse was that he was surprised I used "our" variations, he had seen them before in Shodokan, but was taught not to use them in Randori beacuase thet were unsafe (and would constitue a penalty).

This is a price often payed by any M.A. for adding competitive practice. We on the other hand, can not play Randori at full speed if we wish to go home in one piece (and as amatours, that is our first priority so we practice much slower and without full force).

Hope I am clearer today.
Amir

salim
08-14-2008, 08:40 AM
That is difficult to show in a video. Real resistance sometimes results in really "rude" solutions ;)
It's not that the techniques change significantly (except for speed and force, maybe), but in practice it can lead to unacceptable risks. I'll try some more videos, and we'll see if I get closer to capturing what I mean.

Stefan,

I came across this informative video. Starting at about 1:50 in the video, it deals with resistance. Most traditional Aikido dojos don't teach tactile sensitivity and body mechanics often. I think the younger Aikidoka and those who aren't bothered with adaption, as long as Aiki principles are intact, may appreciate this video. I would love to hear your thoughts.

I hope you enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0

Stefan Stenudd
08-14-2008, 09:04 AM
Stefan,
I came across this informative video. Starting at about 1:50 in the video, it deals with resistance. Most traditional Aikido dojos don't teach tactile sensitivity and body mechanics often. I think the younger Aikidoka and those who aren't bothered with adaption, as long as Aiki principles are intact, may appreciate this video. I would love to hear your thoughts.
I hope you enjoy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0
That's quite interesting. He is very pedagogical, and his instructions are very clear. I would say that this type of training should be part of the normal aikido curriculum, and it often is.

For example, in henkawaza we practice how to shift from one technique to another, often but not only because there is resistance to the first one. In some dojos, the relation between omote and ura is explained this way. When uke resists the omote solution, usually the ura solution is easy to use.
Henkawaza is very good for learning the dynamics of uke, and the strengths and weaknesses of one's techniques.

So are kaeshiwaza, the counter techniques. To me, the major purpose with kaeshiwaza is for tori to learn how to make the techniques so that they are very difficult to counter (or get out of).

Regarding Roy Dean's ikkyo solutions, they differ partly from how I do it. Here I do a bunch of ikkyo, on different attacks - in a basic, slow motion style, though, and not against particular resistance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrASNrLi7uI

As you can see, I prefer to step forward with the leg closest to uke when I bring uke's arm down. One of the reasons for doing this is to stop uke from getting back up again. Also, I am helped by my whole body moving forward, in getting uke's arm down.
Well, Dean's solution is probably more common in the aikido world than mine is. I am sure that it works fine for him.

Regarding ikkyo ura, I prefer to start with an ikkyo omote entrance, whatever the attack. That's because it is very difficult to bend uke's arm correctly for ikkyo, if starting on the ura side - especially in striking attacks.
Again, that's my choice. Other solutions might work just fine.

As for his choices of henkawaza (alternative techniques when the first is halted or countered), I usually prefer solutions where I don't need to go down on the floor.
This is for taninzugake (multiple attackers) reasons, and I believe that the taninzugake perspective is very central in aikido. If I can stay up, I have better chances when there are mutliple attackers, so I usually try for such solutions at first.
Of course, one must know what to do when landing on the floor, too. It can happen :)

Maybe I should film some ikkyo henkawaza and kaeshiwaza stuff, with resistance, after keiko tonight? I'll try to remember that...

Sy Labthavikul
08-14-2008, 09:24 AM
Stefan, please do! I'm definitely not the only one who immensely enjoys your various aikido videos. :-)

Michael Douglas
08-14-2008, 01:52 PM
I enjoyed Stefan's Atemi video very much, thanks for putting it up.
I especially like the grab to iriminage.

I have a problem with complimenting the tanto competition techniques here ;
...These are the clips I tend to refer to, since they are the closest I have found that may relate to the Aikido concept of ending the conflict in an instant - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXCPE9YR5jA and - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvfyvQIJiGo. These were taken during actual tanto shiai matches.
Interesting. That comes closer to what I would prefer as practice against resistance. The technique they do, I call kokyuho. A very effective and practical technique.
The second video definitely involves the 'winner' getting 'stabbed' in the armpit. Does this not count in the competition rules, or did the tanto guy falling down afterwards affect the decision?
The techniqur in both videos involves a suicidal lack of knife-arm control ... such that I could never ever bring myself to train it.
Each of Demetrio's little pictures shows initial control of the knife-arm so that the thrower is not stabbed;

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/gedan.gifhttp://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/gyaku.gifhttp://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/aigamae.gifhttp://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/images/shomen.gif
I'm assuming this is the same Aikido style as the tanto competition clips above.

Larry, can you show me some good wins against the tanto guy which involve initially controlling the knife-arm?

Demetrio Cereijo
08-14-2008, 04:16 PM
I'm assuming this is the same Aikido style as the tanto competition clips above.
Yes it is.

What you see is the difference between kata (the pics I posted) and randori (the videos). When one wants to "stab" and not be thrown and the other wants to throw and no to be "stabbed" things start to happen differenty compared with choreographed drills.

As Larry said before, there are differences between a fight, a competition, a practice fight and a training drill.

Stefan Stenudd
08-15-2008, 05:05 AM
So, I remembered to do some filming after yesterday's class, and my members were kind enough to assist. Here's the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIvsCZE7xAw

It's just ikkyo. And the only resitance here is gotai, from a static position. Of course, there are also ways to deal with dynamic resistance - i.e. an uke retreating to avoid tori's technique - but that's for another video...

In the beginning of the video, I show the turning of my hands in the ikkyo arm grip that I find quite helpful against strong and resisting uke.

Next, a few pointers on how to do it against resistance on two levels - low, at the initial katatedori grip, and high, at a shomen level. Those moments are where ikkyo is resisted the most.

After that, I do some henkawaza (shifting technique), which is the most common way of dealing with strong resistance against a certain technique - you just shift to another, where you can use that resisting force.

To me, the things on the video belong to regular aikido practice. I've done it since I started with aikido in 1972, because this was very frequently taught by every teacher I had in those days.

Mike M
08-22-2008, 08:47 PM
Hi guys, newbie here with some questions. I've been watching a lot of Randori on youtube, and while it looks impressive, can anyone show me footage of any kind of sparing where the opponents actually try to offer resistance? Please? Also, not exactly Aikido centric, but I've watched complex "fights" in tournaments where, with either empty hands or armed, the opponents act and react very quickly; is it possible for any martial artists to act and react that quickly, without any kind of rehearsal? Thanks

Mark Uttech
08-23-2008, 06:52 AM
Onegaishimasu. Training and practice are the training and practice of one's intuition. Randori practice is a kind of 'looking back to see how you are doing'. A good randori is without rehearsal. There are certain things you can practice, like getting off the line of attack when there is more than one attacker but it all starts with one attacker and then moves on to the next one.

In gassho,

Mark

NagaBaba
08-25-2008, 02:06 PM
In the beginning of the video, I show the turning of my hands in the ikkyo arm grip that I find quite helpful against strong and resisting uke..

I have a small remarque here - the method you are using is not well presented. You seem to ignoring some of the key martial elements of every technique:
- a correct distance. In presented situation attacker can reach you without much effort by using his free hand, head or his legs .

- right posture - you turning your back to attacker. This combined with too short distance as explained above; disqualify this presentation from martial point of view.

- vertical dimension of technique is not existing. Because of that, you are not generating enough power from your feet to face a serious attack. It means also, that attacker is not out of balance and can easily counter. The hips of attacker are not turned enough and he is not on his toes.

- you seems to pulling instead of pushing forward(irimi) into attacker center - as a result attacker is well balanced, and will run right into your center. And you are going against his power.


Next, a few pointers on how to do it against resistance on two levels - low, at the initial katatedori grip, and high, at a shomen level. Those moments are where ikkyo is resisted the most.
For shomen case, you are receiving a 'strike' with your wrist that is bended. With a real strike, a wrist will be broken and a blow will land right on your face. You are also not controlling attacker elbow in the moment of the contact - it means for me that you’re not taking control of his center, and you’re too far from attacker. That is one of the reasons why in ura version you have to suddenly shorting the distance and using sharp movement to put uke down to recover from this error.

Stefan Stenudd
08-25-2008, 03:52 PM
I have a small remarque here - the method you are using is not well presented. You seem to ignoring some of the key martial elements of every technique:
Well, we probably have differing ideas about how to accomplish reasonably safe techniques. But in this case, I should point out that I do gotai applications for the single purpose of showing how to deal with some examples of resistance on ikkyo.
That means the movements of the video are sort of isolated elements, taken out of the context of a complete technique in jutai timing, which would be the "normal" one.

For example: Of course I would not dream of blocking an oncoming strike with a twisted hand extending toward it. That's just a gotai setting, for visual clarity of the resisting moment.

NagaBaba
08-26-2008, 07:36 AM
LOL
I was expecting this kind of excuse. The other possible one is usually: We study and explore techniques so it is not complete yet... ;)

I would be very interested to see the "complete' technique against resistance in ikkyo, both from grab and from strike. I bet it will look completely different. I don't believe it is physically possible to deal with serious resistance by doing 'isolated elements' of any sort.
Only very complete technique that respects martial aspect of aikido can do it - because it is by its nature - complete. It means there is no opening for resistance. You attempt to present isolated ‘tricks’ - and it is useless. Nobody can learn from your presentation how to deal with resistance.

Stefan Stenudd
08-26-2008, 08:50 AM
LOL
I was expecting this kind of excuse.
Your attitude doesn't leave much room for dialectics...
As I said, we have differing ideas about it.

Actually, I agree with you about a complete technique not opening for resistance. Still, gotai, from a static position, needs to be trained. Otherwise we are unprepared for a moment when somebody actually gets to complete a grip.
And considerations of importance in gotai solutions should be included also in jutai execution of the technique.

I make it a point not to allow for big changes of the technique between gotai and jutai. Others be the judges of whether I actually accomplish it or not.
On the video in question, the henkawaza applications are done pretty much in the tempo I regard as reasonable for those techniques. They start from a gotai static position, still, but from then on move in regular speed.

Here's the video discussed:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIvsCZE7xAw

I checked my other ikkyo videos on YouTube, but in each of them the techniques are done in an instructive slow tempo. Nonetheless, that's how I do ikkyo normally, although faster. No change of form.
Here's a bunch of them (although in slow-motion):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrASNrLi7uI

Szczepan, by any chance, have you made a video that shows how it should be done, or have you seen other videos that meet with your demands?

Demetrio Cereijo
08-26-2008, 10:12 AM
Szczepan, by any chance, have you made a video that shows how it should be done...

Btw, re-upload the "tenkan of steel" video... i miss it.
:)

mathewjgano
08-26-2008, 10:55 AM
I don't believe it is physically possible to deal with serious resistance by doing 'isolated elements' of any sort.


I would agree that against a serious attacker, using isolated elements isn't going to work well, but I think it's possible to teach or practice aspects of the whole in order to strengthen that whole...as long as at some point you're bringing it all together. To me it's not much different than teaching specific techniques. Sure we can focus too much on those specific movements and forget the principles they're meant to teach us, but they are simply examples of part of the way a person can move using aiki. To make the study of waza "complete" we have to be able to start finding how to move in ways that are different from those crystalized forms...to move organically based on what those techniques hopefully illustrate.

NagaBaba
09-02-2008, 01:00 PM
Szczepan, by any chance, have you made a video that shows how it should be done, or have you seen other videos that meet with your demands?
It is not in the tradition of my teachers to put video on youtube. I think I'll stick with their approach. ;) However, if we meet one day at the seminar, I can show how it should be done, no problem :cool:
I also think that our understanding what is 'full resistance' from static or dynamic attack is very different. That is the reason why you can't discover the openings in your technique.

eyrie
09-02-2008, 05:38 PM
That's a real shame, O unpronounceable One... you could have such a promising future in film-making, particularly in the satirical parody genre. So will we never get to see the sequel to "Tenkan of Steel"? :p :D

salim
12-28-2008, 07:57 PM
The future is not about separation, but rather integration with other styles of Jujutsu, fueling a natural progression of Aikido. Ultimately, awareness, timing and sensitivity are the attributes that will take you the farthest in acquiring deep skills, and conserve energy when facing larger opponents.

While Aikido is philosophically rich, competition and practicing at full resistance is generally discouraged by most modern Aikidoka. This is a reflection of the founders religious orientation. Working with non-resistant opponents can lead to a false sense of security. This leads to disappointment when skills are needed most.

Should we as Aikidoka change our training methods, redefining Aikido practice as a whole? Sparring clearly illustrates that the first attempt at a technique does not always work. Ueshiba's vision may be well served, even enhanced by incorporating training methods of full resistance. Should we as Aikidoka learn to adopt sparring in it's true nature of learning of what works? It's time for change, and perhaps the time has arrived.

Kevin Leavitt
12-28-2008, 11:25 PM
Salim, I think that all depends on your goals and endstate of your training. I think if your endstate involves actually coming out on top of a fight, or at best, improving your odds, then Yes, there needs to be some sort of resistive training.

I just posted a small little piece on the OODA process over on my blog yesterday, and the importance of including non-compliant training as part of your overall training process.

Here is another link I found tonight on the OODA process as it relates to empty handed martial arts. I think it is actually not a bad piece of work to consider.

http://www.fighthouse.com/systema/ooda_in.pdf

Peter (the Budo Bum) Boylan, also makes some good points to consider in response to my blog:

http://budobum.blogspot.com/2008/12/randori-and-kata.html

Erick Mead
12-28-2008, 11:30 PM
While Aikido is philosophically rich, competition and practicing at full resistance is generally discouraged by most modern Aikidoka. This is a reflection of the founders religious orientation. Working with non-resistant opponents can lead to a false sense of security. This leads to disappointment when skills are needed most. The last two statements are undoubtedly true. But, I have serious reservations that the religiosity of the Founder per se completely explains or justifies the proscription on competition, although they are certainly related.

Should we as Aikidoka change our training methods, redefining Aikido practice as a whole? Sparring clearly illustrates that the first attempt at a technique does not always work. Ueshiba's vision may be well served, even enhanced by incorporating training methods of full resistance. Should we as Aikidoka learn to adopt sparring in it's true nature of learning of what works? It's time for change, and perhaps the time has arrived.It is a mistake. I say this not as one who has any authority but of my own observation. There is no attempting any technique in aikido "when the skills are needed most." There most defeinitely is never any "second" attempt. There is no attempt, at all.

Techniques happen in takemusu aiki -- something I perceived occurring in my training quite some time ago, but a process whose nature I have begun to grasp in increasing glimmers. If you have a technique or any endpoint, intermediate or ultimate, in mind before acting you have left the path of Aiki. When I began to do what came to hand naturally and was not thinking about it -- I began to see aiki occurring of its own -- without conscious planning on my part. That is not the same as saying "just do what comes naturally" -- it requires much time and proper effort to attune the body and to quell the operative mind, I now see quite clearly.

Godspeed to you, but competition is not the path the Founder laid, and I see good reason for not straying from it.

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2008, 12:18 AM
Erick, competition may not be the answer, but I think that practicing it with the right amount of aliveness is the right answer if you are concerned about the things Salim is addressing.

Here is a personal experience.

About 20 years ago, I was a brand new medic in the Air Force. 19 years old, had spent months going through all my medical training, ACLS certified, Para EMT, and all that good stuff.

I took test, practiced, and drilled over and over. I was very confident in my knowledge and looked forward to my first real emergency.

then it happened. In Northern Maine about 20 below zero, snow up to our ass. A guy with chest pain in a trailer. The trailer had a wooden windscreen or "mud room built with the door 90 degrees from the trailer door. While first thing we ran into is that I couldn't get the stretcher through a right angle into the trailer. After 10 minutes of trying, I finally made the decision to kick it down. Should have had training on what our priorities were instead of wasting 10 minutes trying to be neat!

Second, once I got the guy to the back of the ambulance, he coded. Well what did I do? What I had trained to do. CPR. Except I did chin tilt head lift, and did mouth to mouth. Well anyone that has ever done it knows what comes up next!

Well after dealing with this, I look over and remember that I had a Bag on the ambulance!

Why didn't I reach for the bag? I had never trained for a code in the winter, 20 below, under a great deal of stress in the back of my ambulance.

My training had essentially been classroom and under good conditions, not in the actual manner that I might encounter on the street in my ambulance.

Hence, my training was not alive.

At some point, we should have drilled similiar scenarios with pressure so we would have it committed to muscle memory with "no thought".

In the Army we have also found in hand to hand fights that guys don't draw their knives. Why? because the "forgget" they have them in the heat of battle, because they have never practiced using them in a fight, so they kick and punch but not draw the knife.

So, I contend that it is good to practice technique over and over until you commit it to "no mind". However, to commit it to "no mind" it has to include near real enviornmental factors and conditions in which you might be faced with, including unpredictable, non-compliant uke in order to actually be able to use "no mind".

Stefan Hultberg
12-29-2008, 06:38 AM
Hi

I believe there are many reasons for training aikido, and relistic self-defense is just one of them. Beauty, promotion of love in the world, self-discovery, mental well-being, physical fitness - so many possible reasons. Therefore I think most practitioners have a realistic view of their individual and their style's strengths and weaknesses in a "real fight". A person training for promotion of love in the world may simply not care one jot or tittle about its use in self defense. Also, some techniques are openly and implicitly practiced for another use than self-defense, for example 1'st kumi-tachi, unless you expect to have to realistically defend yourself against a swordsman of course.

Myself, I try to project so much positive energy that nobody will attack me. If I get attacked anyway I hope I will sit down in seiza, close my eyes, and calmly let whatever happens happen. I fear that, despite my good intentions, I might smash them to smitherines - akido or not. If my family or "someone helpless" was seriously threatened I believe my aikido, my watching lots of karate movies, my strong teeth, and my aggressive focus alone will smite the aggressors. My point here, perhaps, is that real self defense is complicated, messy, unpredictable, and cannot be simulated. It's difficult to practice full resistance and then deal with the guy who rolls away 3 yards, then pulls a sig-sauer, and lead starts buzzing through the air. It's difficult to practice full resistance and then defend yourself against a bomb launched by an f-16. Self defense training may enable you to defend yourself against some situations, certainly not all.

While training I really value the full spectrum of resistance, from full resistance/total obstruction to the fully coordinated uke who just follows my lead like a butterfly made of midsummer's mist. Full resistance/obstruction is an important part of the spectrum.

Now, "full resistance", to me, does not appear as realistic self-defense simulation at all. Obstruction is easy if you are an aikidoka and you know what an aikidoka is going to do (prearranged or through experience in a randori situation). If one expects to be in a self-defense situation with an another aikidoka there may be some value in the "full resistance" as self-defense simulation.

I am not convinced that what some call "soft aikido", depending on exactly what you mean of course, is obviously hopeless in self-defense. The moment of surprise is difficult to judge and real atemi is difficult to simulate. Take atemi - in order to simulate it the way we practice it at our dojo,I would have to plant my fist, without a glove, full force on the precious nose of my opponent, on his adam's apple, or through his teath. I believe a soft, beautiful aikido technique could thereafter be performed with an opponent as soft as a jellyfish.

Aikido is a martial art, no question, but the word "martial" has many depths.

Well, it is said that "those who know don't speak, those who speak don't know" - I obviously know sod all.

I apologize for my voluminous ramblings and wish you all a very happy new year.

Stefan Hultberg

Demetrio Cereijo
12-29-2008, 07:23 AM
... but competition is not the path the Founder laid, and I see good reason for not straying from it.

Competition in the sense of rivalry, or making aikido a sport, or working with a "win-lose" mindset is, imo, what the founder tried to avoid. However, "aliveness" is a different thing and I don't find "aliveness" incompatible with aikido.

Flintstone
12-29-2008, 07:55 AM
Seconded.

Erick Mead
12-29-2008, 08:08 AM
Erick, competition may not be the answer, but I think that practicing it with the right amount of aliveness is the right answer if you are concerned about the things Salim is addressing.Competition in the sense of rivalry, or making aikido a sport, or working with a "win-lose" mindset is, imo, what the founder tried to avoid. However, "aliveness" is a different thing and I don't find "aliveness" incompatible with aikido. We don't disagree, but too many assume that aliveness and competitive contest are the same thing -- and they are not -- not even in degree.

I took test, practiced, and drilled over and over. I was very confident in my knowledge ......
Why didn't I reach for the bag? I had never trained for a code in the winter, 20 below, under a great deal of stress in the back of my ambulance.

My training had essentially been classroom and under good conditions, not in the actual manner that I might encounter on the street in my ambulance.

Hence, my training was not alive.Precisely. My route to martial arts was an early one where I, quite unexpectedly, forgot who I was, and became rather feral with someone else -- a situation that I did not care to repeat. Everyone forgets most of what they have learned, and instead responds with the way that they have been trained, which is not something one can consciously remember, and which overt signs of learning sometimes disguise. The way of the training come out under stress, not any particulars of it. This is one aspect of what "DO" means in this context. So attending to the Way of the training is critical, as I think we are in general agreement. How to do that is quite another matter.

In the Army we have also found in hand to hand fights that guys don't draw their knives. Why? because the "forgget" they have them in the heat of battle, because they have never practiced using them in a fight, so they kick and punch but not draw the knife. The Way of aikido is not to lose oneself in the situation by becoming bound to a particular sequence of events. It is a training in dynamic structural patterns that are universal. The focus of the mind is freed from the movements, because the movements of the body are inherently natural -- which is not to say that they are commonly used by anyone else.

So, I contend that it is good to practice technique over and over until you commit it to "no mind". However, to commit it to "no mind" it has to include near real enviornmental factors and conditions in which you might be faced with, including unpredictable, non-compliant uke in order to actually be able to use "no mind".My practice is to aproach the familair through unfmailiar paths or conversely to take the familiar and lead it into uncertain places. I tend to focus on branch points of movement where distinctions between technique in the formal sense are blurred. That is to say, I either start with a canonical waza, and then take it into a branching series according to some scheme of variation that occurs to me that night, or I start with a simple minor kokyu movement and then expand it into various waza along different paths of development in the movement.

The point is not to hardwire any set paths or reaction sequences. It fosters both physical memory and mental trust that proper movement finds its own paths, and that many are already there to be seen, if you just carry on moving let them appear instead of either hacking away at every tree in your way, or despairing at the daunting prospect of cutting down a forest to make one. It is alive because it focusese on the unfiying nature of the branching process while allowing the distinctions that the branching creates. It is therefore in harmony with Ki as defined by Miura Baien, according the branching principle of Jouri. It creates a sense of the train already moving and always at the switch, ready to shift suddenly to some other track, only dimly seen ahead.

Bob Blackburn
12-29-2008, 08:14 AM
I think you have to provide progressive resistance to the point of full resistance. You should give your partner enough resistance to test their current ability without making it impossible. This can take a while to get used to providing the right amount.

Working against resistance will improve technique, structure, focus, etc. Starting slowing from a static position until you can apply the technique in a dynamic environment.

C. David Henderson
12-29-2008, 08:18 AM
If you have a technique or any endpoint, intermediate or ultimate, in mind before acting you have left the path of Aiki. .

No arguments here about either aliveness or progressive resistence, particularly in the absense of formal competition.

I agree with Erick's statement, quoted above, as well, which I think applies at all levels of practice, including basic kihon practice.

Thinking about the end-state usually leads to rushing through the interaction as it unfolds. Rushing to throw (lock, or choke...) amplifies, IME, the risk that one also will (a) execute poorly; and (b) be less able to deal with unexpected levels or types of resistance.

Good discussion, thanks all.

Regards,

DH

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2008, 08:38 AM
Erick wrote:

The Way of aikido is not to lose oneself in the situation by becoming bound to a particular sequence of events. It is a training in dynamic structural patterns that are universal. The focus of the mind is freed from the movements, because the movements of the body are inherently natural -- which is not to say that they are commonly used by anyone else.

Exactly. The trick is to not let yourself become bound by a set of habits or patterns. Exactly. In listening to Boyd describe the OODA practice in a lecture last night, this is what he seemed to stress the most. I have found this to be most key to my own personal development.

I don't think it matters what style, art, or system you study, everyone is subject to this process and we must be aware that this is going on.

I also agree that there is a distinction between Competition and Aliveness. Competition can drive aliveness into your training, but again, you can myopic when this becomes the endstate of your training. You see this in Judo alot.

However, I think that compettition also can be a good thing with the right perspective. I like to compete in Judo and BJJ couple of times a year. It keeps me with an edge that I find hard to do in any other way. It does not consume me or the endstate of my practice, this is key I think to understand.

Aliveness provides a structure which allows you to practice timing and with conditions that approximate the actions and reactions of an actual opponent as best as possible. The trick is to also understand and account for the limitations of this as well. They are there as it is impossible to 100% simulate.

Erick Wrote:

My practice is to aproach the familair through unfmailiar paths or conversely to take the familiar and lead it into uncertain places. I tend to focus on branch points of movement where distinctions between technique in the formal sense are blurred. That is to say, I either start with a canonical waza, and then take it into a branching series according to some scheme of variation that occurs to me that night, or I start with a simple minor kokyu movement and then expand it into various waza along different paths of development in the movement.


Sounds like that you and I might do things slightly differrent, but overall, it sounds like our structure or pedagogy is actually pretty close.

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 10:55 AM
Competition in the sense of rivalry, or making aikido a sport, or working with a "win-lose" mindset is, imo, what the founder tried to avoid. However, "aliveness" is a different thing and I don't find "aliveness" incompatible with aikido.

I think I could go along with that......
Its impossible to think of every conceivable scenario as some would be completely ridiculous..... the "what if" scenarios come to mind..... there are no absolutes and one should be prepared as much as is possible without getting paranoid...... Self defence comes well before an encounter takes place, therefore avoiding a situation, if at all possible, is the best way, but sometimes when there is no choice one has to defend themselves by anyway that they can and survive.

Tony

Demetrio Cereijo
12-29-2008, 11:29 AM
Well, imo being prepared and aware (without crossing the line and became paranoid) is better achieved via alive training than with cooperative drilling/kata only training.

For me is the best method to really discover what you can do under pressure (physical and psychological), who you really are instead of being told who you are. Like the Dog Bros. say, is about achieving higher consciousness through harder contact.

Of course, safety of practitioneers has to be taken seriously and cooperative drilling/kata training should not be abandoned.

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2008, 11:38 AM
I think I could go along with that......
Its impossible to think of every conceivable scenario as some would be completely ridiculous..... the "what if" scenarios come to mind..... there are no absolutes and one should be prepared as much as is possible without getting paranoid...... Self defence comes well before an encounter takes place, therefore avoiding a situation, if at all possible, is the best way, but sometimes when there is no choice one has to defend themselves by anyway that they can and survive.

Tony

No you cannot, but within every scenario there are some common elements that will come up in just about any fight that we can train. Fighting distance, weapons, no weapons.....okay.

Lets only look at the clinch since this is primarily what we are concerned with in an empty handed or close fight situation. What are the common elements in the clinch in every fight regardless of the other factors?

Okay, someone goes down on the ground. One is up, one is down. What is common and what can we study here?

Both are down, one is one, the other is on the bottom. What is the orientation of the two people? Side, Mount, Guard, On the Back.

Multiple Opponents? Well LOL that one gets tricky doesn't it? I tend to stick with one person for most of my training as, IMO, if you cannot control one, what makes you think you can control more?

Sort of like trying to eat an elephant, how to you do that? One piece at a time!

So, no we cannot train every conceivable scenario, but we can focus on those things that will come up in just about any fight working with different positions, timing, weapons involved.

Erick Mead
12-29-2008, 01:05 PM
No you cannot, but within every scenario there are some common elements that will come up in just about any fight that we can train. Fighting distance, weapons, no weapons.....okay.... Multiple Opponents? Well LOL that one gets tricky doesn't it? I tend to stick with one person for most of my training as, IMO, if you cannot control one, what makes you think you can control more?As I see Aiki progressing through training it is becoming more and more clear to me. If my partner's arm, in the important respects, is also mine to use (if I use it in the way that does not require any nervous connections, by center-driven action ) then interacting with multiple opponents is the same. As long as I maintain my status as their mutual target they become effectively one many-limbed body centered on me, same as an individual opponent. All their actions will be driven by the motion of me at their mutual center. I believe this is what O Sensei spoke of in terms of making many one. But it emphasizes the risks to training in a competiive way, even as it makes clear that the "liveness" of training is so important.

If I begin to "run away" from multiple attackers, I am not evading them -- I am just repetitively trying to depart the center of their intended actions, and so losing the focus that it brings. So evasion is problematic.

If I begin, on the other hand to wish to make any one of them MY intended target, I lose that center-driven focus in my perception where I no longer have to worry about where the enemy is, where he is going, or what he is going to do (never mind the rest of them). Thus, attacking is problematic.

But if I am content to remain the target and simply cut directly into each attack in turn, and lead the whole of them with my own motion in concert with theirs, and remaining at their intentional center (NOT in the middle of a bunch of them, I hasten to add), while choosing merely where I wish to be centered upon -- I become the available and orderly focus of their intentions -- not too far out of reach nor so close as to not require some affirmative closure. I can snatch a group of them effectively off-balance in the sense of disorganizing their mutual structure of attack in a way directly related to the way in which I take kuzushi from a wrist grab or with kiri-otoshi or suriage with the sword, all to disorganize the attacker's structure of attack, by becoming and then changing the center. That is Aiki-DO. Sometimes, on a good day, I can even do it semi-consistently.

Good randori is like that.

In multiple attacks I need merely to move cleanly where I wish to be attacked. Kind of like Bugs Bunny, with his coquettish enticement, "Yoo hoo! Over here, boys!" Of course, I move best straight thorough his attack, so it may not seem so un-attacking. Especially when one moves before he has moved to attack but has already focussed his intention. And We all know when we are being looked at target-wise -- we just hesitate in acting on it, becasue we are unsure of whether to attack or run or block or what.

Each attacker is always "out" and each is always coming in -- to the center. Every response is directly from the center of the action and thus controls everything, if I let it do so. My intention must be merely to be in control of their center of action, which is, of course -- me. Simplifies everything, tactically and strategically, and every attacker is exactly the same, and they are all the same together. I make them that way be conquering both my desire to run and my desire to destroy a source of threat. Masakatsu agatsu. Competition does not build that. It is too goal-oriented -- which is to say it is oriented away from the point of being attacked and toward the other guy dealing with attack. He becomes the center.

They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can't get away from us now!

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 01:47 PM
As I see Aiki progressing through training it is becoming more and more clear to me. If my partner's arm, in the important respects, is also mine to use (if I use it in the way that does not require any nervous connections, by center-driven action ) then interacting with multiple opponents is the same. As long as I maintain my status as their mutual target they become effectively one many-limbed body centered on me, same as an individual opponent. All their actions will be driven by the motion of me at their mutual center. I believe this is what O Sensei spoke of in terms of making many one. But it emphasizes the risks to training in a competiive way, even as it makes clear that the "liveness" of training is so important.

If I begin to "run away" from multiple attackers, I am not evading them -- I am just repetitively trying to depart the center of their intended actions, and so losing the focus that it brings. So evasion is problematic.

If I begin, on the other hand to wish to make any one of them MY intended target, I lose that center-driven focus in my perception where I no longer have to worry about where the enemy is, where he is going, or what he is going to do (never mind the rest of them). Thus, attacking is problematic.

But if I am content to remain the target and simply cut directly into each attack in turn, and lead the whole of them with my own motion in concert with theirs, and remaining at their intentional center (NOT in the middle of a bunch of them, I hasten to add), while choosing merely where I wish to be centered upon -- I become the available and orderly focus of their intentions -- not too far out of reach nor so close as to not require some affirmative closure. I can snatch a group of them effectively off-balance in the sense of disorganizing their mutual structure of attack in a way directly related to the way in which I take kuzushi from a wrist grab or with kiri-otoshi or suriage with the sword, all to disorganize the attacker's structure of attack, by becoming and then changing the center. That is Aiki-DO. Sometimes, on a good day, I can even do it semi-consistently.

Good randori is like that.

In multiple attacks I need merely to move cleanly where I wish to be attacked. Kind of like Bugs Bunny, with his coquettish enticement, "Yoo hoo! Over here, boys!" Of course, I move best straight thorough his attack, so it may not seem so un-attacking. Especially when one moves before he has moved to attack but has already focussed his intention. And We all know when we are being looked at target-wise -- we just hesitate in acting on it, becasue we are unsure of whether to attack or run or block or what.

Each attacker is always "out" and each is always coming in -- to the center. Every response is directly from the center of the action and thus controls everything, if I let it do so. My intention must be merely to be in control of their center of action, which is, of course -- me. Simplifies everything, tactically and strategically, and every attacker is exactly the same, and they are all the same together. I make them that way be conquering both my desire to run and my desire to destroy a source of threat. Masakatsu agatsu. Competition does not build that. It is too goal-oriented -- which is to say it is oriented away from the point of being attacked and toward the other guy dealing with attack. He becomes the center.

Cor blimey mate..... You a lawyer or something?
or should I call you "O sensei" :rolleyes: :D

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 02:21 PM
Erick, competition may not be the answer, but I think that practicing it with the right amount of aliveness is the right answer if you are concerned about the things Salim is addressing.

Here is a personal experience.

About 20 years ago, I was a brand new medic in the Air Force. 19 years old, had spent months going through all my medical training, ACLS certified, Para EMT, and all that good stuff.

I took test, practiced, and drilled over and over. I was very confident in my knowledge and looked forward to my first real emergency.

then it happened. In Northern Maine about 20 below zero, snow up to our ass. A guy with chest pain in a trailer. The trailer had a wooden windscreen or "mud room built with the door 90 degrees from the trailer door. While first thing we ran into is that I couldn't get the stretcher through a right angle into the trailer. After 10 minutes of trying, I finally made the decision to kick it down. Should have had training on what our priorities were instead of wasting 10 minutes trying to be neat!

Second, once I got the guy to the back of the ambulance, he coded. Well what did I do? What I had trained to do. CPR. Except I did chin tilt head lift, and did mouth to mouth. Well anyone that has ever done it knows what comes up next!

Well after dealing with this, I look over and remember that I had a Bag on the ambulance!

Why didn't I reach for the bag? I had never trained for a code in the winter, 20 below, under a great deal of stress in the back of my ambulance.

My training had essentially been classroom and under good conditions, not in the actual manner that I might encounter on the street in my ambulance.

Hence, my training was not alive.

At some point, we should have drilled similiar scenarios with pressure so we would have it committed to muscle memory with "no thought".

In the Army we have also found in hand to hand fights that guys don't draw their knives. Why? because the "forgget" they have them in the heat of battle, because they have never practiced using them in a fight, so they kick and punch but not draw the knife.

So, I contend that it is good to practice technique over and over until you commit it to "no mind". However, to commit it to "no mind" it has to include near real enviornmental factors and conditions in which you might be faced with, including unpredictable, non-compliant uke in order to actually be able to use "no mind".

Cor Blimey! Kevin thanks for that..... good analogy there I couldn't have done that better ......in fact I wouldn't be able to ha ha!!

Tony

Erick Mead
12-29-2008, 05:07 PM
Cor blimey mate..... You a lawyer or something?
or should I call you "O sensei" :rolleyes: :DI'm simple. I learn through failure -- and I've learned often -- though maybe not that much.

So, "D'oh!... Sensei!" probably and more accurately expresses whatever title I ought to have... :eek:

GeneC
12-29-2008, 05:23 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mGjDjsCWGY

What's that thing the guy is stabbing with? Is that supposed to represent a knife? Notice he stabs the guy every time and he(stabbee) keeps stepping into the stabber.

GeneC
12-29-2008, 05:40 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QkJGxPytQI.

I see alot of Krav Maga in there. However, aLotof this talk of resistance, etc is moot. Folks have to realize this can never be more than sport, because it will always have to be based on rules and in real fighting, the only rule is to win. Most folks don't realize how powerful simply grabbing someone's skin is. Grabbing two handfuls of skin and twisting it is so painful, it can cause somone to pass out. As is poking out eyes and biting, but how many are willing to do that?
AFA competition, I'd think it'd be two trying to capture the other's center. By then the battle is over, but then the nage can get extra points by executing a good technique.

GeneC
12-29-2008, 05:52 PM
Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

This is excellent! This is more what I'd think'd work in real situations.

GeneC
12-29-2008, 06:11 PM
I think this post demonstrates the general level of ignorance..... But then again, how many here have actually had to deal with serious personal violence while unarmed? It is interesting how many comment on things they may know nothing about. :) LC

I came out of a store one night, walking to my car when a couple of thugs appeared "out of nowhere"( meaning, I wasn't paying attention) and demanded money, I refused, The thug closest me came at me with an overhead knife attack, I raised my hands up to block and he reversed and came up from underneath and cut me from a couple of inches bellow my belly button to about 3" above.

I've been shot at twice( shoot to kill, both emptied gun, greatest sound in the world is bang, bang, bang, click, click), unarmed.

Competition in an organized sport is one thing, street fight, completely different.

GeneC
12-29-2008, 06:24 PM
Exactly. The trick is to not let yourself become bound by a set of habits or patterns. Exactly. In listening to Boyd describe the OODA practice in a lecture last night, this is what he seemed to stress the most. I have found this to be most key to my own personal development..

I think this is so important, it bears repeating/expanding. The OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Everyone goes thru those steps in every situation that requires action. The thing is, those steps takes time and by the time your opponent has acted, he's already gone thru those steps, so you're already behind "the loop". The trick is make your opponent reset his OODA, by interrupting his action in some way, which could be as simple as moving. If you step off the line of attack ( which should be the very first rule of Aikido), your opponent has to re-adjust, which require them to go thru the OODA loop again. So if you're plan is to move and attack, now you're ahead.
.

GeneC
12-29-2008, 06:41 PM
......Good randori is like that.....

But isn't Randori ( and all of Aikido) simply folks running at you( mostly one at a time) with the intention of you throwing them? It's preplanned and they fully cooperate ( dang near throwing themselves). Imo, Randori should be called multiple fully cooperative ukes. On the street, multiple attackers means a real real bad situation.

Erick Mead
12-29-2008, 08:03 PM
But isn't Randori ( and all of Aikido) simply folks running at you( mostly one at a time) with the intention of you throwing them? It's preplanned and they fully cooperate ( dang near throwing themselves). Imo, Randori should be called multiple fully cooperative ukes. On the street, multiple attackers means a real real bad situation.Come play some time. I assure you no one throws themselves in our dojo, unless it to gain themselves better advantage. If you doubt the sincerity of ukes' objectives -- we can do it with shinai for spice. Nor is randori about throwing anybody per se -- it is about controlling the attackers en masse, by using them against themselves. If a throw happens now and again, great -- it is not the primary objective.

mathewjgano
12-29-2008, 08:06 PM
But isn't Randori ( and all of Aikido) simply folks running at you( mostly one at a time) with the intention of you throwing them? It's preplanned and they fully cooperate ( dang near throwing themselves).

No. Aikido isn't so homogeneous. Interpretations vary, but my experience (mostly witnessing) is that randori is just one more tool to refine application of waza, and as such, there is a gradient of intensity.

An example you might appreciate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YziUvBqX-zI&feature=related

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 08:08 PM
Interesting topic.

Personally I don't think there are many videos online that do justice to good Shodokan randori or shiai for that matter so I've resorted to just showing ppl who appear on my dojo step with questions.:)

These are the clips I tend to refer to, since they are the closest I have found that may relate to the Aikido concept of ending the conflict in an instant - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXCPE9YR5jA and - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvfyvQIJiGo. These were taken during actual tanto shiai matches.

My own belief is that anyone who is stuck on getting better at shiai alone will not fully appreciate what Tomiki was trying to reveal to ppl. Just like ppl stuck only on cooperative methods of practice. The reason is because certain revelations are only gained by experiencing the personal truth of an actual conflict.

From my own personal experience, the system works very well for self defence purposes. This has been repeatedly proven to me. What is seen in most shiai clips are the result of folks who are still fixated on "getting technique to work". The system really comes into its own when your technique works before your partner has even struck (sen). This however requires focused study, even if one is in Shodokan and tests technique regularly. Testing is great but too many end up "fighting" and struggling instead of just doing Aikido. This is why there are guidelines on how to achieve ability without getting into the "fight" mindset. Imho if one is reacting in shiai or in self defence then one is not applying Aikido. The result is the struggling you often see in videos and training.

Once I did a demo which included some resistance randori as seen in tanto shiai. Half of the crowd were shocked at seeing someone who was willing to not get off every technique and not look like a "master" all the time (though some did come off like textbook co-op waza). The other half (mostly Judoka) were happy to actually see Aikido function while knowing that serious resistance was present. As folks who also engage in competitive practice they had a very good idea of how difficult it was to get a "clean" technique when ones partner was fighting back. They also know that it is possible given the right mindset and timing among other things.

Best.
LC

Thought I would underline that this has been my experience in actual real self defence....... my "Tomiki" training has "saved" my but on quite a few "occassions"......

Tony

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 08:09 PM
But isn't Randori ( and all of Aikido) simply folks running at you( mostly one at a time) with the intention of you throwing them? It's preplanned and they fully cooperate ( dang near throwing themselves). Imo, Randori should be called multiple fully cooperative ukes. On the street, multiple attackers means a real real bad situation.

It does.....

Tony

Erick Mead
12-29-2008, 08:29 PM
I think this is so important, it bears repeating/expanding. The OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Everyone goes thru those steps in every situation that requires action. Actually, not everyone does -- and the good Colonel even put it in his diagram. See here: http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/images/picture_boyd_ooda_loop.gif There is an alternate "implicit guidance and control" cycle along the top of the diagram. It is dominated by "Orientation," and lacking in any decisional process, at all. Aikido travels this route.

There is a good thread on the the whole topic of OODA, BTW: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13535&highlight=ooda

The thing is, those steps takes time and by the time your opponent has acted, he's already gone thru those steps, so you're already behind "the loop". The trick is make your opponent reset his OODA, by interrupting his action in some way, which could be as simple as moving. If you step off the line of attack ( which should be the very first rule of Aikido), your opponent has to re-adjust, which require them to go thru the OODA loop again. So if you're plan is to move and attack, now you're ahead..The "trick," which is not a trick at all, is to begin with orientation and proceed to action, and then adjust subsequent orientation through observation. In this mode, even in sensen no sen timing you are acting while the attacker is in the midst of deciding, but he has already irrevocably committed his orientation to "attack." There is no "plan." Orientation frames the action and the observational adjustments adjust the orientation, recursively.

Training orients the body intuitively to the principles of the proper action, and attunes the body to observe the variables of proper orientation according to those principles.

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2008, 08:30 PM
But isn't Randori ( and all of Aikido) simply folks running at you( mostly one at a time) with the intention of you throwing them? It's preplanned and they fully cooperate ( dang near throwing themselves). Imo, Randori should be called multiple fully cooperative ukes. On the street, multiple attackers means a real real bad situation.

Randori of this type is designed to teach you how to move on the outside of uke, to tenkan, to triangulate, and to disrupt the tempo. I think it really has very little to do with self defense directly. It is a very, very basic exercise. Mainly for as the reasons you state, nage knows your coming, uke must "bail" at point of impact, and it is cooperative.

Not a bad exercise for what it is, but I think many people read into what it really does for you way too much.

Walter Martindale
12-30-2008, 12:54 AM
But isn't Randori ( and all of Aikido) simply folks running at you( mostly one at a time) with the intention of you throwing them? It's preplanned and they fully cooperate ( dang near throwing themselves). Imo, Randori should be called multiple fully cooperative ukes. On the street, multiple attackers means a real real bad situation.

I dunno. My nikyu test involved 4 attackers in jyuwaza. One was ikkyu, the rest were nidan or above, including one of my sensei. the attack was ryokatadori, the instruction from shihan was move, don't get caught. Needless to say, I was on the mats, under four guys, in a big hurry, all three tries.

Ikkyu test was only slightly better. 4 yudansha again, same instructions but I was told no hitting by the shihan. Once again, I was mushed, but I managed to stay upright and moving for a little longer.

Shodan test - four yudansha again. Again - ryokatadori (and then some relatively random shomen, yokomen, tsuki) - this time I was able to move a bit, keep turning, moving, and turning - well, for about 10 seconds, anyway.

Not really looking forward to nidan...
Ain't nobody ran at me one at a time, and ain't nobody let themselves get thrown. Each time it was all four, all at once, and each time it was MOVE FASTER.

Cheers,
W

C. David Henderson
12-30-2008, 07:35 AM
Gnarled testing, that.

DonMagee
12-30-2008, 08:55 AM
This is excellent! This is more what I'd think'd work in real situations.

My problem with the video you quotes is that after the initial throat strike the uke simply stops. This simply does not happen and makes everything after that first strike meaningless imho.

L. Camejo
12-30-2008, 11:28 AM
My problem with the video you quotes is that after the initial throat strike the uke simply stops. This simply does not happen and makes everything after that first strike meaningless imho.This is what I was thinking. :)

Kevin: Your CPR analogy is a very good example of what I was getting at earlier in this thread. I tend to use a similar analogy when teaching. A few seconds of reality can clear up years of accumulated delusion imho. :)

Overall, applied Aikido (as in self defence or resistance training) is an intuitive use of many mind/body principles that function to optimize the human self towards ending conflict in different ways. If one keeps thinking of "technique" as in particular waza that will "work in a fight" or "winning" then one is far away from the objective we seek in applying Aiki imho. In this way, competition can limit ones development, but competitive practice, done properly can develop the instant intuitive responses to resistance that are a part of applied Aiki. Ideally, if there is resistance there is no Aikido, but how does one learn the optimal ways of negating, going around or utilizing resistance without engaging it at some point in training?

All techniques that work (whether physical, mental or otherwise) are governed by certain base principles. These principles apply always, whether one is striking, throwing, locking, grappling, armed or unarmed. If one has found a way of integrating these principles into ones practice then proficiency can be achieved in cooperative practice, resistance practice, competition, scenario training and self defence since the same principles are applicable to each endeavour in different ways and at different levels.

Best.
LC

Tony Wagstaffe
12-30-2008, 04:04 PM
No you cannot, but within every scenario there are some common elements that will come up in just about any fight that we can train. Fighting distance, weapons, no weapons.....okay.

Lets only look at the clinch since this is primarily what we are concerned with in an empty handed or close fight situation. What are the common elements in the clinch in every fight regardless of the other factors?

Okay, someone goes down on the ground. One is up, one is down. What is common and what can we study here?

Both are down, one is one, the other is on the bottom. What is the orientation of the two people? Side, Mount, Guard, On the Back.

Multiple Opponents? Well LOL that one gets tricky doesn't it? I tend to stick with one person for most of my training as, IMO, if you cannot control one, what makes you think you can control more?

Sort of like trying to eat an elephant, how to you do that? One piece at a time!

So, no we cannot train every conceivable scenario, but we can focus on those things that will come up in just about any fight working with different positions, timing, weapons involved.

Of course totally agree with you here....... Have been in nasty situations where I have been attacked by more than two...... the trick is to keep them at bay and for them to get into each others path of destruction, but not easy when you have innocent people, cars, sidewalks, waste bins, street seats, lamp posts, bollards, sign posts and every other conceivable thing that tends to get in your way or trips you up, where ya don't want ta be!! and you only have street lighting for visibility!..... Hairy and scary..... Tanbo comes in bloody handy!!
Nice and tidy in the dojo where the mat is nice and level and there are no obstructions except the four walls that constrain you and the the brethren that "attack" you......

Take Care Kevin

Tony

CNYMike
12-30-2008, 10:07 PM
The future is not about separation, but rather integration with other styles of Jujutsu, fueling a natural progression of Aikido ....

It is? Based on what?

There seem to be as many takes on Aikido as there are people practicing it, and so the "natural progession" will be different for everbody. Sure, it might be "natural" do what Roy Dean did in a clip and go from kote gaeshi to juji gatame; anyone knowing those moves can do it. But is that a "natural progression" of Aikido or jut a personal foible?

.... Working with non-resistant opponents can lead to a false sense of security. This leads to disappointment when skills are needed most.

My Kali instructor keeps saying, "Any technique that saves your bacon is the best one in the universe." If someone who trains against non-resistance defends himself or herself in reality, who are we to say it'll never work? Cleary it did.


Should we as Aikidoka change our training methods, redefining Aikido practice as a whole? ......

Only if it accomplishes the same thing as the old practice, but if it doesn't, no. Every martial art has its strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to appreciate what it offers alreay, and work from there. Not as easy as slapping on some BJJ and adding sparring and calling it "Modern Aikido" -- not easy at all, in fact! -- but more rewarding in the end.

Ketsan
12-31-2008, 10:49 AM
The future is not about separation, but rather integration with other styles of Jujutsu, fueling a natural progression of Aikido. Ultimately, awareness, timing and sensitivity are the attributes that will take you the farthest in acquiring deep skills, and conserve energy when facing larger opponents.

While Aikido is philosophically rich, competition and practicing at full resistance is generally discouraged by most modern Aikidoka. This is a reflection of the founders religious orientation.

Working with non-resistant opponents can lead to a false sense of security. This leads to disappointment when skills are needed most.

Should we as Aikidoka change our training methods, redefining Aikido practice as a whole? Sparring clearly illustrates that the first attempt at a technique does not always work. Ueshiba's vision may be well served, even enhanced by incorporating training methods of full resistance. Should we as Aikidoka learn to adopt sparring in it's true nature of learning of what works? It's time for change, and perhaps the time has arrived.

I'd argue the opposite, Aikido's future is about the development of what it, since the refocusing of Judo onto competition, uniquely has: The ability to overcome an opponent before he can resist.

My personal dislike of the idea of competiton is that it produces a false sense of reality. My experience of Judo convinces me that you're only goot at overcoming the resistance you're trained to produce. When someone resists in a different way everything goes out of the window. Also your ability to resist depends on your level of training; in fact in large part resistance is a product of training.

Think about this: If we regard training to overcome resistance as being vital to Judo's effectiveness, then it follows that any untrained person can effectively resist Judo, other wise there would be no need to learn how to overcome resistance.

This, clearly, is bollocks. Put any untrained person up against even a low level Judoka and they will get pwned. This leads me to ask the question "Is Judo randori about learning to throw a resisting opponent or is it more about learning how to resist being thrown?"

I'm inclined to believe that since someone with relatively little Judo experience can defeat an untrained person that the answer to the questions is that randori teaches one to effectively resist more than it teaches one to overcome resistance.

So if we're going to introduce resistance training and competition we'd better ask who we're planning on fighting and we'd better learn to resist as they do and to their level.

Also we need to realise that testing out techniques on each other is pointless in a discussion of effectiveness on non-aikidoka. We've all spent years learning these techniques to the point that they are now intuitive.
Just because we know how to lock them down and reverse them it does not follow that anyone outside of Aikido does, just because we do not commonly resist does not mean that our ability to resist our own art is the same as an untrained person or a person from another art.
I can belt n00bs around the dojo with ease after 6 years of training, but I struggle to move my seniors. This suggests that far from co-operating with me, my seniors have become highly resistant to Aikido, and can resist Aikido far more effectively than any untrained person or anyone from a different art.

The problem, therefore, is not that our techniques do not work, it's that they do not work on someone who is trained to resist them.
Training to produce yet more resistance (just so that we can overcome it) will not help us overcome someone who is not trained or experienced enough to resist in the first place.

As an example of this there is a video on youtube of a karateka getting seriously pwned by a BJJer. How much time did the BJJer spend learning to overcome karate resistance? How much use was the BJJers knowledge of how to overcome BJJ in a fight against a Karateka?
I'd argue that the BJJers abaility to overcome BJJ resistance meant precisely squat when he fought against the Karateka.

So how much more effective will Aikido become against non-aikidoka if we learn to overcome purely Aikido resistance?

C. David Henderson
12-31-2008, 12:23 PM
Hi Alex,

Interesting post. Does the same apply to Aikido training with resistence -- that we're learning how to resist Aikido more than how to do Aikido in the face of resistence?

Regards,

David

C. David Henderson
12-31-2008, 12:24 PM
Oh, never mind, you answered that too.

DonMagee
12-31-2008, 12:34 PM
I'd argue the opposite, Aikido's future is about the development of what it, since the refocusing of Judo onto competition, uniquely has: The ability to overcome an opponent before he can resist.

My personal dislike of the idea of competiton is that it produces a false sense of reality. My experience of Judo convinces me that you're only goot at overcoming the resistance you're trained to produce. When someone resists in a different way everything goes out of the window. Also your ability to resist depends on your level of training; in fact in large part resistance is a product of training.

I think it is obvious that the more you know about how to fight, the better you are going to be at fighting. A untrained person may punch off balance with no power. A trained fighter is going to throw a strong, fast, well placed, well balanced, punch. Because of that, he is also going to have a better guard, because he will have other guys doing the same to him. If he only blocks wild weak haymakers his defense is going to suffer.


Think about this: If we regard training to overcome resistance as being vital to Judo's effectiveness, then it follows that any untrained person can effectively resist Judo, other wise there would be no need to learn how to overcome resistance.

This, clearly, is bollocks. Put any untrained person up against even a low level Judoka and they will get pwned. This leads me to ask the question "Is Judo randori about learning to throw a resisting opponent or is it more about learning how to resist being thrown?"


I submit to you the wrestler, or the bigger stronger opponent. Both could resist a judoka. I submit to you MMA fighting, where judoka have beaten and been beat non-judoka. You train not to overcome resistance. You train WITH resistance. You might ask why. The reason is to get a close approximation of how a person will react when preasure is placed on him/her. Not a guess, or an act, but a real reaction to say being punched in the face, pushed, pulled, thrown, choked, etc.


I'm inclined to believe that since someone with relatively little Judo experience can defeat an untrained person that the answer to the questions is that randori teaches one to effectively resist more than it teaches one to overcome resistance.


Again, I think it is simply that as you become better at fighting you become better balanced, and your techniques have less openings, thus you are harder to attack. I can't possibly see how this could every be a bad thing.


So if we're going to introduce resistance training and competition we'd better ask who we're planning on fighting and we'd better learn to resist as they do and to their level.

Also we need to realise that testing out techniques on each other is pointless in a discussion of effectiveness on non-aikidoka. We've all spent years learning these techniques to the point that they are now intuitive.
Just because we know how to lock them down and reverse them it does not follow that anyone outside of Aikido does, just because we do not commonly resist does not mean that our ability to resist our own art is the same as an untrained person or a person from another art.
I can belt n00bs around the dojo with ease after 6 years of training, but I struggle to move my seniors. This suggests that far from co-operating with me, my seniors have become highly resistant to Aikido, and can resist Aikido far more effectively than any untrained person or anyone from a different art.

The problem, therefore, is not that our techniques do not work, it's that they do not work on someone who is trained to resist them.
Training to produce yet more resistance (just so that we can overcome it) will not help us overcome someone who is not trained or experienced enough to resist in the first place.

As an example of this there is a video on youtube of a karateka getting seriously pwned by a BJJer. How much time did the BJJer spend learning to overcome karate resistance? How much use was the BJJers knowledge of how to overcome BJJ in a fight against a Karateka?
I'd argue that the BJJers abaility to overcome BJJ resistance meant precisely squat when he fought against the Karateka.[/quote[
Again, I believe you are wrong. I have studied TKD for a good while (black belt), aikido for a short while (a few years), judo for a shorter while (still preparing for my shodan) and bjj for 3 or 4 years (2 stripe blue belt).What I have experienced is in direct opposition to your argument.

My TKD was heavily forms based. I did not do any contact sparing, just the occasional no touch/light touch tag game. When I trained aikido we never used any resistance in our training (beyond static resitance of not letting someone move you). When I started judo I was unable to use any of my aikido against a judoka. Basically I would try to do anything and end up flat on my back with a man either looking down on me or pinning/choking me. When I started bjj shortly afterwards I discovered that because of the more limited ground ruleset in judo I was getting up right schooled by 3 month white belts in bjj. Because they were used to dealing with wrestlers they were hard to throw just like my judo training partners (of my level).

Now in bjj we rarely spared standing. The only guys who did were training MMA. I did not train in MMA, so I almost never got to start standing with the bjj guys. However I kept going to judo and kept getting better at throwing judoka. After a few of our bjj guys started asking for more work on takedowns we started sparing standing up more often. I found that in the timespan I had gotten a lot better at throwing bjj guys. Now why does this matter? Because bjj guys do not stand or move like judo guys. BJJ guys are more worried about single legs then harai goshi. So they have a low stiff armed posture with bent knees and a upright head. Ready to shoot. Judo players stand almost upright and a posture that is not protecting of a shot at all. Yet somehow though my training with judo I got better at throwing bjj students.

Why? Because in judo randori I was trying to throw a person who only had two things on his mind.

1) Throw me.
2) Do not get thrown by me.

This means I was learning to create very efficient basics of control and position. I was learning to control the encounter and lead the fight to where I wanted it to go. The throw is inconsequential.

Likewise with bjj. The point of sparing is to improve your control and positioning. The submission are secondary. Because of this my judo ground game (with different rules) improved dramatically. It doesn't matter that the basis of my bjj game is drastically different then my judo ground game (most of my favorite submission and positions in bjj would either get me disqualified from a judo match or force us to stand back up). I was learning solid foundations of position and control that can be applied to any situation.

Overtime I was also able to learn to use some of that TKD and Aikido that I trained. I started slowly modifying the techniques I was taught to deal with the realities of the alive training. I no longer had a partner throwing a unbalanced punch at the direction of my face, but a person hell bent on hitting me with good footwork, timing, speed, and power. He was not going to leave that hand out to grab, but bring it in for defense so I did not do the same to him. I had to learn to draw my opponent out and create openings for my techniques. I've slowly gained a small reputation at the club for being the sneaky guy with the crazy controls, takedowns, and wristlocks.

On top of this, the sparing is forcing me to grow as a fighter. When I first started bjj I had an awesome sholder hold pin and a nice choke from that position. It was dominating my training partners. But after a short while they all knew the trick and not only could defend it with ease (forcing me to learn new things), but they started doing it to me (forcing me to be more aware of my situation).

On top of this we would frequently get new people to spar with. He may be a wrestler looking to get into MMA, or a karate guy looking to learn grappling. Each one brought a new uniqueness to the sparing match. This caused us to be more adaptable to changing situations, and we even adopted some tricks from these guys. You quickly learn things you would never learn without noobs. Such as that while pinching the inner theigh hurts, you can tolerate it, or how to defend fingers being bent back, eyes gouged, biting, etc.

Even greater then this situational sparing is just aliveness. Doing drills with very open rulesets. Allowing the person to give a real response to their partner. MMA sparing does this very well. It is no longer just learning to deal with something limited like judo, bjj, aikido, boxing, etc. But learning to deal with people, some who are better strikers, grapplers, stronger, bigger, faster, more technical, smarter, etc then you are. It forces your defenses to get tighter, your attacks to be sharper, and your mind to be more focused.


So how much more effective will Aikido become against non-aikidoka if we learn to overcome purely Aikido resistance?

Resistance also does not have to be sparing to add drastically to your training. It could be as simple as taking a student and asking him to hit you. Not throw a shomen strike, but hit you and not stop trying to hit you until he has been subdued. Give your partner a real goal besides being a willing participant in his own beat down. Don't say "I want you to shoot a single leg and I will practice defense X", but rather "I want you to try to take me down for 3 minutes any way you know how without striking". Will you have to learn more then you would if your only attacker was a 5'4" 300 pound 16 year old with heart disease? Of course, however I would think being able to beat a trained fighter will make you better at handling a untrained one. For example, if I can block a sharp sniper like boxers attack, I think I can deal with the tells and giveaways of the laymans haymaker with ease.

On top of this, there are some things you can't train without doing it for real. You can't learn what it is like to have someone punch you in the face via kata and compliant drills. You can't learn what it is like to recover from a drastic mistake from compliant drills and kata, you can't learn what it is like to stand back up after you have fallen and are still under attack. You can't learn what it is like to get so stressed you lose awareness and get cornered and pummeled.

Aliveness is about dealing with adversity and learning to control it as best you can. You can't learn to be a great chess master though kata, what would the same not apply to any other art of strategy.

Ketsan
01-02-2009, 12:39 PM
I submit to you the wrestler, or the bigger stronger opponent. Both could resist a judoka. I submit to you MMA fighting, where judoka have beaten and been beat non-judoka. You train not to overcome resistance. You train WITH resistance.


No argument, as I said you learn to cope best with the resistance you're trained to produce. Judo, MMA and wrestling are not identical and so each, I would suggest, resists in subtly different ways. A judoka would find fighting a wrestler different from fighting another judoka.


Again, I think it is simply that as you become better at fighting you become better balanced, and your techniques have less openings, thus you are harder to attack. I can't possibly see how this could every be a bad thing.

Or as you become better balanced, perfect your form you become harder to attack. It's a chicken and egg thing.


When I started bjj shortly afterwards I discovered that because of the more limited ground ruleset in judo I was getting up right schooled by 3 month white belts in bjj. Because they were used to dealing with wrestlers they were hard to throw just like my judo training partners (of my level).

Or forms of resistance appropriate to a Judo ruleset were inappropriate under a BJJ ruleset.


I found that in the timespan I had gotten a lot better at throwing bjj guys. Now why does this matter? Because bjj guys do not stand or move like judo guys. BJJ guys are more worried about single legs then harai goshi. So they have a low stiff armed posture with bent knees and a upright head. Ready to shoot. Judo players stand almost upright and a posture that is not protecting of a shot at all. Yet somehow though my training with judo I got better at throwing bjj students.


BJJ guys in short, do not have the appropriate resistance for dealing with stand up Judo. My previous comment in reverse, what makes sense in BJJ doesn't prepare you to deal with Judo.


Why? Because in judo randori I was trying to throw a person who only had two things on his mind.

1) Throw me.
2) Do not get thrown by me.

This means I was learning to create very efficient basics of control and position. I was learning to control the encounter and lead the fight to where I wanted it to go. The throw is inconsequential.

No argument within a Judo context. I'm not so sure that fighting a judoka is great prep for fighting anyone else though.


Likewise with bjj. The point of sparing is to improve your control and positioning. The submission are secondary. Because of this my judo ground game (with different rules) improved dramatically. It doesn't matter that the basis of my bjj game is drastically different then my judo ground game (most of my favorite submission and positions in bjj would either get me disqualified from a judo match or force us to stand back up). I was learning solid foundations of position and control that can be applied to any situation.

Any situation on the ground.


Overtime I was also able to learn to use some of that TKD and Aikido that I trained. I started slowly modifying the techniques I was taught to deal with the realities of the alive training. I no longer had a partner throwing a unbalanced punch at the direction of my face, but a person hell bent on hitting me with good footwork, timing, speed, and power. He was not going to leave that hand out to grab, but bring it in for defense so I did not do the same to him. I had to learn to draw my opponent out and create openings for my techniques. I've slowly gained a small reputation at the club for being the sneaky guy with the crazy controls, takedowns, and wristlocks.

You studied the art, found the openings, applied what you learned elsewhere aided, I'd suggest, because what you're doing is "crazy" it's new and no pattern for resisting it exists in your new envoironment.


On top of this, the sparing is forcing me to grow as a fighter. When I first started bjj I had an awesome sholder hold pin and a nice choke from that position. It was dominating my training partners. But after a short while they all knew the trick and not only could defend it with ease (forcing me to learn new things), but they started doing it to me (forcing me to be more aware of my situation).


Again, that's pretty obvious, thing is they had the chance to study and develop effective resistance. This is not something someone out on the street, in a situation, can do. They can't stop you half way through shiho nage and then say "That's an interesting technique, could we go through this a couple of times until I work out how to resist it?"


On top of this we would frequently get new people to spar with. He may be a wrestler looking to get into MMA, or a karate guy looking to learn grappling. Each one brought a new uniqueness to the sparing match. This caused us to be more adaptable to changing situations, and we even adopted some tricks from these guys. You quickly learn things you would never learn without noobs. Such as that while pinching the inner theigh hurts, you can tolerate it, or how to defend fingers being bent back, eyes gouged, biting, etc.

Exactly what I was saying, each art brings it's own approaches. Just because you learn one approach it does not follow that you are prepared for all other approaches. So if we introduce resistance training in Aikido we have to be sure that we're training against someone acting as a real opponent does, rather than as an Aikidoka would. Assuming there's a difference, which I suggest there is.


Resistance also does not have to be sparing to add drastically to your training. It could be as simple as taking a student and asking him to hit you. Not throw a shomen strike, but hit you and not stop trying to hit you until he has been subdued. Give your partner a real goal besides being a willing participant in his own beat down. Don't say "I want you to shoot a single leg and I will practice defense X", but rather "I want you to try to take me down for 3 minutes any way you know how without striking". Will you have to learn more then you would if your only attacker was a 5'4" 300 pound 16 year old with heart disease? Of course, however I would think being able to beat a trained fighter will make you better at handling a untrained one. For example, if I can block a sharp sniper like boxers attack, I think I can deal with the tells and giveaways of the laymans haymaker with ease.

By and large I agree with you and I know a lot of dojo that train just like that. Although I will say that it's no good training against a trained fighter if it doesn't reflect how most people attack. A trained fighter in a ring or sparring situation is not the same as a pissed off guy and his mate(s) who thinks you've been eyeing up his girl and is now venting in your face. Will a boxer slam you into a wall and restrain you and then start punching you? Is that part of his training? Is a Judoka going to make a good puncher?

When we talk about a trained fighter we need to sort out just what this guy is trained in and how that training lines up with what goes on in the street. Are we sure that a trained fighter hasn't been trained out of things which are in fact very useful?


On top of this, there are some things you can't train without doing it for real. You can't learn what it is like to have someone punch you in the face via kata and compliant drills. You can't learn what it is like to recover from a drastic mistake from compliant drills and kata, you can't learn what it is like to stand back up after you have fallen and are still under attack. You can't learn what it is like to get so stressed you lose awareness and get cornered and pummeled.

Again this is my experience of randori and in fact kata practice. Mistakes are made and where I come from uke is expected to do something. On monday night I goofed irimi nage and was promptly thrown by my uke.

DonMagee
01-02-2009, 06:02 PM
I guess I simply don't get it. I go with imperial evidence. I trained aikido for years and TKD for almost a decade, yet I could not leverage it against a bjj white belt with 3 months training. So I guess bjj students train to deal with TKD and aikido movements?

Either that or their training strategies simply work. I'm not a religious man, so I'm going with evidence over faith.

Randathamane
01-02-2009, 06:20 PM
resistance = any mechanical force that tends to retard or oppose motion

isn't it fairly academic as resistance implies knowledge or foresight? one can resist and block ikkyo as long as one knows that ikkyo is coming. the true question is- can Joe blogs can defend/ counter/ resist if he does not know what is coming?

surly to argue to opposite is to argue the nature of aikido????

as according to my master teacher- "to meet the spirit and the way". To encounter the path of non- resistance. surely if an opponent resists, change the technique?

:ai: :ki: :do:

Ketsan
01-02-2009, 06:36 PM
I guess I simply don't get it. I go with imperial evidence. I trained aikido for years and TKD for almost a decade, yet I could not leverage it against a bjj white belt with 3 months training. So I guess bjj students train to deal with TKD and aikido movements?

Either that or their training strategies simply work. I'm not a religious man, so I'm going with evidence over faith.

It's more that TKD and Aikido have no resistive strategies to deal with BJJ in the same way that, as you yourself, stated BJJ has no resistive strategies to deal with stand up Judo.

Right, back to the party.

L. Camejo
01-02-2009, 10:41 PM
resistance implies knowledge or foresight?I think this can be misleading to many. Especially people who do not train with someone exercising their free will to not cooperate with ones waza.

Resistance does not exactly require foresight, unless we see the human nervous system as a way of having foresight or foreknowledge. People in general react very quickly and instinctively to sensory input, especially touch input. The instant someone senses that they are being moved in a direction that they do not want to go, they start an instinctive chain of motions designed to thwart that movement. This is as instinctive as reaching ones hands towards the ground if falling. A good example is found in trying to lift a child or animal that does not want to be lifted for any reason. The instinct of making the body heavy through dead-weight relaxation appears almost instantly when someone tries to lift them against their free will. This is instinctive resistance. It requires no foreknowledge except for the neuromuscular system.

There is a reason why Aiki waza involve a matching of energy, direction and motion with the aggressor, because if one does not detect that they are being taken somewhere that they do not want to go they will have no reason to resist or not cooperate.

It's interesting that in Tomiki's writings on what we call "resistance" training he hardly uses the word resistance but instead says that ones partner is "expressing free will." This is the free will to not be thrown by ones partner if one chooses not to. Imho if one is engaging in randori and uke has the choice not to be thrown/pinned etc. then something is lacking in the application of that waza. It is simply not effective as executed.

I can concur with a lot of what Don is saying above since I have entered Judo and Jujutsu dojos with pretty much only Aikido knowledge and been able to effectively resist (i.e. block waza) when engaging in standing waza. Imho this had less to do with any prior knowledge or training I had in those arts (which were zero) and more to do with my ability to feel my partners' attempts at kuzushi and merely maintain posture and body weight in a way that canceled out what they wanted to achieve. In ground work, it was a new environment to me at first, but again when I held on to Aikido principles when on the ground it was very difficult for the guys to pin me. Of course I had no experience in these arts so all I could do was defend/resist until I did get pinned at some point, but I did not require foreknowledge in order to do so.

Don Magee wrote:
On top of this, there are some things you can't train without doing it for real. You can't learn what it is like to have someone punch you in the face via kata and compliant drills. You can't learn what it is like to recover from a drastic mistake from compliant drills and kata, you can't learn what it is like to stand back up after you have fallen and are still under attack. You can't learn what it is like to get so stressed you lose awareness and get cornered and pummeled.
Again this is my experience of randori and in fact kata practice. This has also been my experience. Bruce Lee had a saying that the best way to train for an event is the event itself. Fighting, randori or any engagement involving people who are allowed to use their free wills during the encounter is the exact opposite of kata practice which requires foreknowledge of what is going to happen next, cooperation and compliance. As soon as one leaves the realm of pure compliance in kata practice one enters the realm of randori. Definitions of the terms can be found on Aikidojournal here - Kata (http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=360) & Randori (http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=548). Imho the purpose of kata is to learn technique - it is the reference manual. The purpose of randori is to test and develop ones instinctive application of kata. When ones waza fails in randori one can revisit kata to look for any technical flaws and then return to randori to test and develop instinctive application.

Mistakes are made and where I come from uke is expected to do something. On monday night I goofed irimi nage and was promptly thrown by my uke.This is a form of randori, not kata practice.

Best.

LC

L. Camejo
01-02-2009, 10:56 PM
They can't stop you half way through shiho nage and then say "That's an interesting technique, could we go through this a couple of times until I work out how to resist it?"Funny that you mention Shi ho nage, which is a technique that I have seen many beginners "dance" out of on their first day of training in many dojos. They instinctively felt the hole that most people leave when pivoting behind to finish the technique and simply keep turning until they are back where the waza started.

To resist waza does not require much training if any. To counter it with something effective enough to end or resolve the situation, that takes study.

Best.
LC

Ketsan
01-02-2009, 11:24 PM
Funny that you mention Shi ho nage, which is a technique that I have seen many beginners "dance" out of on their first day of training in many dojos. They instinctively felt the hole that most people leave when pivoting behind to finish the technique and simply keep turning until they are back where the waza started.

To resist waza does not require much training if any. To counter it with something effective enough to end or resolve the situation, that takes study.

Best.
LC

Weapons training, weapons training, weapons training. Sorts out all that kind of stuff. :D